B1G Football Preview

8/27/2014 1:43:08 PM
I was asked by an Ohio State blog to participate in a roundtable of other bloggers about the upcoming football season.  Here are the results.  I've reprinted my answers below for your convenience.  I edited some answers in the wake of Braxton Miller going down.

Who are the returning players that will need to step up for the team to have success?
CJ Brown, Stefon Diggs, and Wes Brown.  CJ is a fifth year senior QB. He's led us to bowl games and has had nice performances.  He has a nice arm but is also a threat to tuck it and run. He needs to avoid the bad INTs just like any QB but he has the tools to have an outstanding season for the Terps.  Stefon Diggs is a beast.  Not in terms of physical strength but in terms of raw athletic talent.  He's the fastest guy on the field any time he sets foot on the ground.  You'll love watching him play.  Maryland's challenge is getting him the ball.  Every team game plans for him so it's often hard to get it to him.  His season was cut short with an injury last year, but he is back to full strength.  Wes Brown was suspended from the team before last season after he was arrested.  The charges were eventually dropped and he has been reinstated to the team this year.  He will lead the team in rushing if healthy.
Who are the newcomers that could have an immediate impact on this season?
Damian Prince is the first 5-star lineman the Terps have recruited since...ever?  He should give CJ the protection he needs from the blind side so that our talented receiving corps can get open downfield.  Yes, our 5-star recruit starts immediately. We don't have any other 5-stars on the roster so you better believe he's starting.
Will the offense or the defense lead the team and what is the reason?
It will be the offense because it is way more talented.  The receiving corps is one of the best in the nation.  Both Stefon Diggs and Deon Long have the talent to play on Sundays.  As discussed above, our QB is a double threat and his experience should carry us though a tough situation or two. Wes Brown showed flashes as a freshman in 2012 and his year off the team should have given him all the motivation he needs to excel this year.  Finally, the O-Line is probably the best it's been in years.
What are your predictions for the following
Your Offensive MVP Stefon Diggs.  He's a first round pick if he just plays to his potential.
Your Defensive MVP The Terps have to be the only team in the NCAA with a guy named "Yannick" and another guy named "Yannik".  Both are linebackers and both are poised to emerge this year but I am going to go with Will Likely as our likely Defensive MVP.  A Florida de-commit and our best DB. Likely has the most talent on the defensive side of the ball.  His job will be to take on the opposing team's best receiver and he's up to the task.
B1G Offensive MVP It would have been Braxton Miller.  He's experienced and he's the leader of the conference favorite.  Now, it's Michigan State's QB.  I honestly don't know his name.
B1G Defensive MVP Shilique Calhoun is my pick.  Mostly because I wanted to write a sentence with "Shilique" in it but also because he's incredibly talented.
West Division CHAMPION These divisions are totally lopsided.  Wisky is overrated and the rest of the teams are pretty crappy too.  I'm going with Nebraska but I honestly think that Maryland would have a chance to win this division.
East Division CHAMPION Terps.  LOL. As if.  It's now Michigan State's to lose.  I think the Spartans are good and last year was their peak output, but with Braxton Miller going down, they are my pick.
B1G Title Game Winner  Ohio State.

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