Maryland Terrapins at #23 Texas Longhorns
Saturday, September 2, 2017, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: FS1
Royal Texas Memorial Stadium – Austin, Texas
Opening Line: Texas -16 1/2
Current Line: Texas -19
Opening Total: 57
Current Total: 56
Opening Money Line: Texas -1150 / Maryland +733
Current Money Line: Texas -1300 / Maryland +850
The Tom Herman era begins for the Texas Longhorns Saturday at home against the Maryland Terrapins. Texas hired the Houston coach after three mediocre seasons under Charlie Strong. Strong has moved on to South Florida. Texas leads the series against Maryland 3-0, including a 42-0 shutout in the 1978 Sun Bowl. That was the last meeting between the teams. For what it’s worth, Maryland has never even scored a point against Texas in the three meetings. The two teams will play in Landover, Maryland next year in a neutral site game.
Maryland went 6-7 last year and 3-6 in the Big Ten. The Terrapins are coached by D.J. Durkin. Maryland lost to Boston College 36-30 in the Quick Lane Bowl last year. The Terrapins were 4-9 ATS and the total was 5-8 last season.
Texas was 5-7 last year and 3-6 in the Big 12. The Longhorns went 6-6 ATS and the total was 4-8. Texas did not qualify for a bowl.
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Maryland was outscored 30-21 last year. The Terrapins averaged 378 yards per game on offense including 178 passing and 200 rushing yards. On defense, Maryland allowed 427 yards per game including 212 passing and 215 rushing yards. The Terrapins were -7 in turnovers with 12 takeaways. Maryland averaged 61 penalty yards per game and opponents averaged 56 per game. The Terrapins were 73/210 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents were 82/218. Maryland forced 38 sacks and allowed 49 last season. The Terrapins were 32/38 scoring in the red zone including 23 touchdowns and opponents were 44/56 with 37 touchdowns.
Tyrell Pigrome won four way battle for the starting quarterback job. He passed for 322 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and rushed for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns. He beat out North Carolina transfer Caleb Henderson, Max Bortenschlager, and freshman Kasim Hill for the job. Henderson is questionable with an ankle injury. Hill is listed as the back-up on the depth chart.
The top two running backs return for the Terrapins. Ty Johnson had 110 carries for 1,004 yards with 6 touchdowns, plus 16 catches for 206 yards and a touchdown. Lorenzo Harrison III had 88 carries for 633 yards and 5 touchcowns, plus 9 catches for 72 yards.
Receiver D.J. Moore had 41 catches for 637 yards and 6 touchdowns. Teldrick Morgan and Levern Jacobs combined for 84 catches for just under 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. Both are gone. Taivon Jacobs and Jacqulle Veil have both made an impact in the past at receiver. Jacobs is returning from a knee injury, and Veil has transferred back into the program. Derrick Hayward is the tight end.
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Texas outscored teams 31.9-31.5 last season. The Longhorns averaged 491 yards per game on offense including 252 passing and 239 rushing yards. On defense, the Longhorns allowed 448 yards per game including 259 passing and 190 rushing yards per game. Texas was -3 in turnovers with 23 giveaways. The Longhorns averaged 64 penalty yards and opponents averaged 62 per game. Texas was 81/216 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents were 80/206. The Longhorns forced 41 sacks and allowed 30 last season. Texas was 44/55 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns, and opponents were 40/47 with 27 touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele completed 60.4% of his passes for 2,958 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 151 yards on 97 carries with 2 touchdowns. Back-up Tyrone Swoopes has graduated. Last year he only threw for 66 yards and a touchdown, but he did have 7 rushing touchdowns coming in the “18-wheeler” package for Texas. True freshman Sam Ehlinger is the only other scholarship quarterback on the roster.
Running back D’Onta Foreman is now with the he Houston Texans. He had 323 carries for 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns, plus 7 catches for 75 yards. Chris Warren III takes over as the feature back after rushing for 366 yards on 62 carries with three touchdowns. He suffered a concussion during fall practice and is probable for the start of the season. If Warren can’t go, Kyle Porter will get most of the carries. He rushed for 206 yards last year on 46 carries. Porter is probable with a shoulder injury.
Most of the top receiving targets are back. Armanti Foreman had 34 catches for 420 yards and 3 touchdowns. Devin Duvernay had 20 catches for 412 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dorian Leonard had 29 catches for 397 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jacorey Warrick and Jake Oliver have graduated. The duo combined for 63 catches, 720 yards and 3 touchdowns. Collin Johnson had 28 catches for 315 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jarrod Heard had 24 catches for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns. John Burt had 18 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Andrew Beck only caught 4 passes last year but two of them went for touchdowns.
Maryland is 1-4 ATS in non-conference games, 1-5 overall and on fieldturf, and 0-6 in road games.
Texas is 7-3 ATS at home and 1-4 against Big Ten teams.
Texas looks to improve on defense, with 10 starters back. Maryland can’t get into a shootout here because they simply don’t have the firepower. I think the Tom Herman era gets off to a rousing start with a blowout.