Image Credit: Baltimore Sun
The Maryland Terrapins were firing on all cylinders this afternoon, as they rolled to a 41-21 victory over the Wolfpack of North Carolina State. C.J. Brown had one of his best games as a Terrapin, as he accounted for 5 total touchdowns. The defense played strong for most of the game, and made some big stops when they needed to. The Terps finish their final season in the ACC with a record of 7-5 (3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) and are headed to a bowl game. Let’s take a look at what we learned.
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- C.J. Brown is great when he’s healthy - The Maryland quarterback finished the game going 13/25 for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also added 138 yards on the ground on 15 carries and scored 3 times with his legs.
- Andre Monroe is much-improved - After missing last season with an injury, Maryland defensive lineman Andre Monroe has had a huge season. He sacked N.C. State quarterback Brandon Mitchell 2.5 times and was a big force in the backfield of the Wolfpack.
- Cole Farrand is a tough man - Playing with an injured shoulder that he was holding by his side most of the game, the Terps’ linebacker had a big game in the middle of Brian Stewart’s defense. He is set up for a big senior season next year.
- Receivers would help - There were multiple occasions where dropped passes hurt C.J. Brown’s completion percentage. Amba Etta-Tawo, Levern Jacobs, and Kenneth Goins Jr. all had passes dropped that should have been caught. That is certainly an aspect of the offense that makes you miss the sure-handed Stefon Diggs and Deon Long.
- Amba Etta-Tawo has potential - While his hands have been shaky all season, Terps wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo made some big catches this afternoon. He finished the game with 4 catches for 101 yards, and made some impressive catches along the way. With experience, he should be able to make the easy ones as well.
- Nigel King is making his case for next season - While Etta-Tawo lead the team in yardage, King led the team in yards per catch. While he only caught two passes, he gained 63 yards for an average of 31.5 yards per catch. He also added a touchdown on an extremely impressive catch downfield. Marcus Leak will likely be back next season, but Nigel King is finishing off this season very impressively, and is showing that he will be pushing for playing time next year.
- These Terps can tackle - I couldn’t count how many times I said “Nice tackle” when the Maryland defense was on the field. Two years ago, missed tackles played a huge role in N.C. State’s big comeback. But Brian Stewart’s defense rarely misses tackles, and are very good in the open field. Everyone on the Terps’ defense can tackle well, and that will serve them well next season in the Big Ten.
- Brad Craddock is rock-solid - After a season of missed field goals and extra points, Terps kicker Brad Craddock has become one of the best kickers in the country. He made each field goal he attempted today, and made all 5 of his extra points. His solid performances this season have been big for the Terps. He will finish this regular season with an 81% mark on field goals.
- Bowl chances have been boosted - Everyone knew that the Terps were headed to a bowl game this season, but the exact bowl may be boosted in stature now that the Terps have reached 7 wins. The Military Bowl had been the assumed bowl, but a few more may surface now that the Terps have added a win to their resume, and a 20-point win at that.