There’s a team in college football, after yesterday, that’s 4-0 overall, they’re leaving defenses breathless–literally and figuratively–and they’re wearing specially designed uniforms that either make you shake your head in disgust because you think it’s just a little too over-the-top, or make you immediately grab your credit card, head for your computer and buy every single design imaginable to add to your collection.
Am I talking about the Oregon Ducks? Good guess, but no. The west coast powerhouse is only 3-0 on the year.
Believe it or not, I’m talking about the Maryland Terrapins. Yeah, those same Terrapins that were 4-8 last season. Those same Terrapins whose coach, Randy Edsall, was criticized because maybe he couldn’t resurrect the College Park football program as was intended when he was hired from UConn after leading them to a BCS berth.
Through four weeks, the Terps are 4-0 and have not played one contest yet in which they’ve scored less than 32 points. And, equally as notable, nor have they played a game in which their defense has given up more than 21 points.
Nonetheless, however, it’s this offense that has everyone looking at them right now when many, prior to the season, may have forgotten this program even existed. And they’ve been so stellar mainly because they have one of the most proficient core fours in the game today.
QB C.J.Brown, wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long and RB Brandon Ross have been a deadly unit. After missing last year, forcing the Terps to use a linebacker under center, Brown has been one of the the most prolific signal callers in the nation so far. The senior has over 1,000 yards through the air, seven touchdowns and has hit over 66% of his passes. Oh, and not to mention, he’s also added 283 yards on the ground, while finding the end zone for himself six times.
Diggs and Long have been outstanding as targets for Brown as the duo has combined for 671 yards receiving and four scores. When you add in Ross’ 332 yards on the ground and two TDs, you have yourself a recipe for an effective offense which, again, the Terps have indeed been one-third of the way through their season.
But, as eye-opening as this unit has been so far, I also think that that’s made some ignore the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Maryland is beginning this tear as they’re ready to give the ACC the tip-of-the-cap and head off to the Big Ten next season.
With a bye week this week, the Terps will open up their final ACC slate in two weeks when they travel to, of all places, Tallahassee, FL to take on the top-ten ranked Florida State Seminoles. A few weeks after that, on Oct. 26, they’ll welcome in the Clemson Tigers to College Park. In a month span, this group is going to have not one, but two chances to throw a wrench into a conference mate’s plans that have legitimate national aspirations, that won’t actually be a conference mate next season.
We’ll certainly learn a lot about what this team is really about in the next few weeks. As outstanding as they’ve been so far, and as is the case with a lot of teams this early in the year, the validity of the teams they’ve routed so far is in question.
But if this group does turn out to be the real deal, then there’s going to be a lot of scorned ACC members who won’t have a chance for revenge, unless they see Edsall and crew in a bowl game down the road.