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    Big Ten News

    [2021] Winning B1G: Maryland

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    Marquise Simpkins is the key to Maryland's success in trying to play spoiler in the B1G East





    This article features Maryland and is the first in a series of articles for each Big Ten team on what it will take for them to win the conference. There are three parts to each article and each will function as a preview for the team. The first section answers how that specific team will win the conference, the second answers how that specific team will not win the conference, and the third section gives a realistic outlook on how that team will do this season.


    Why Maryland Will Win The Big Ten:

    Marquise Simpkins is a four-year starter for the Terrapins and his first three years have been rather tumultuous. A coaching change after his redshirt freshman year never allowed the Maryland native to find his footing. That changes this year and he finally plays up to his potential. The Maryland offense is littered with experience at the skill positions, starring senior runnngback Samir Hatcher and senior wide receivers Ayden Cooley and Barry Lawson. The offensive line is the strongest it’s been since Coach TheSam has gotten there. The talent surrounding Simpkins allows something to click in the quarterback and he has a career year, showcasing his ability both as a runner and as a passer, leading to an eventual draft selection in the upcoming NFLHC draft. Defensively, an experienced and talented secondary help outside linebackers Freddie Hendricks and Tyler Matthews get to the quarterback. When the front seven lets opposing quarterbacks throw, the secondary steps up with big play after big play, acting as a backbone of the defense. This becomes a recipe for destruction moving through the Big Ten East, where they beat Penn State and Michigan on the road on the way to their first Big Ten East title.



    Why Maryland Won’t Win the Big Ten:

                Marquise Simpkins reverts to his old ways and continues to play uninspiring leading to Coach TheSam to play redshirt freshman quarterback Brian Anderson in what becomes a rebuilding year in College Park. The quarterback change coupled with an incredibly tough schedule causes unrest in the offense and it stagnates by the Week 6 bye. Defensively, the outstanding outside linebacker duo shows its inexperience and the front seven is unable to generate any pressure on the quarterback. An offense unable to do much and a weak front seven gasses the strongest part of the Maryland defense, the secondary. This leads to some embarrassing blowouts causing more unrest throughout the team, making even the chance of making a bowl questionable.


    How Maryland Will Do:

                The Terrapins are an interesting squad. As mentioned before, they have plenty of experience on offense. Marquise Simpkins is the huge question mark. If he can play up to his potential and the Terrapins steal a game or two they shouldn’t, it could be a special season in College Park. Marquise has the weapons to be good, it’s just a matter of putting everything together. Defensively, the defensively line is the weak spot which will unfortunately hurt the rest of the defense. The linebacker corps is young but talented, while the secondary is experienced and talented. Both special teams groups are solid and shouldn’t lose this team any games. The X-Factor for them is going to be the play of Marquise Simpkins and whether he can finally live up to his potential. Assuming he can play well, it’s possible Maryland can go 8-4, upsetting a team they shouldn’t on their way. If he remains the Marquise of old, this team might struggle to make a bowl with a tough out of conference slate and some tough cross over games in Big Ten play.


    Big Ten Network Prediction: 6-6 (4-5 in B1G play)

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