As the Quick Lane Bowl approaches, we got a chance to talk to former ACC foe and friend of the blog Testudo Times. Please check out their blog for all Maryland opinion and analysis.
BCI: So, what's life been like since moving to the B1G?
Testudo Times: Life's been decent. It's definitely been an adjustment, but I think Maryland has acclimated itself well. I know there will always be fans who think moving was the wrong choice, but as a student on campus right now it's pretty much accepted by everyone around here. In a strictly football sense, we got a tough deal by ending up in the East division with Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan. Things are fine, though.
BCI: D.J. Durkin's first season marked a return to a bowl for Maryland. What is your thought of his coaching style after his first season?
Testudo Times: Durkin has done everything you could really ask for. He's brought an energy that the staff and players seem to feed off of, he's handled pretty much everything the right way, and he's recruiting exceptionally well. There's only so much he can do in his first year with a team of players he didn't recruit, but I think he's gotten the most out of everyone.
BCI: Maryland's offense seems to mirror BC's as predicated on the run. What weapons should we watch out for, and what has caused Maryland trouble this season?
Testudo Times: Maryland's rushing attack isn't as scary as it was when the season started due to injuries and suspensions, but the Terps still have Ty Johnson. He's the team's leading rusher with 845 yards and averages nearly 10 yards per carry. The sophomore is one of those guys that can bust a big play any time he touches the ball. He's had some incredible games this year, although most of them were against mediocre or worse defenses. BC has a pretty stout run defense, and Maryland struggled to get things going on the ground against teams like Ohio State and Nebraska. The Terps have also had trouble throwing it deep all season. However, there's always the potential for a big play from this offense.
BCI: Perry Hills has been around for a while. What is his strengths and limitations as a QB?
Testudo Times: Hills had by far his best season this year. He turned 8 touchdowns and 13 picks last season into 10 and 3, and his completion percentage went from 50 percent to 66 percent. He's not someone who's going to make plays all by himself, but that's really not what the Terps need him to be. With the new coaching staff, he did a way better job of minimizing mistakes and playing smart. He's struggled with shoulder injuries all season, and Maryland's offense is way worse without him, but he's healthy now, just in time for his final game.
BCI: The defense took a big step in the right direction this year for the Terps. What changes did Durkin make this year, and who should BC fans look out for?
Testudo Times: I'm gonna have to disagree with that first statement. Maryland's defense has been its weakness all year, which is understandable after losing three players to the NFL and suffering a pair of season-ending injuries to seniors Will Likely and Denzel Conyers. The Terps have been absolutely atrocious at stopping the run; Bill Connelly's S&P+ has them at No. 127 in the country at that, which is second-worst. The two best players on defense are probably junior linebackers Jermaine Carter and Shane Cockerille (who was a fullback moonlighting at quarterback last year), but it's a soft spot.
BCI: Final question: Prediction time, who you got?
Testudo Times: I think Maryland wins this game with a healthy Perry Hills. With him, the Terps should be able to limit the turnovers, and they'll probably be able to break a couple explosive plays. When you do that, you win football games.