Maryland held its annual Red and White spring football game on Saturday in College Park, the first of the DJ Durkin era.
The scoring system was as follows:
Offense: Normal game scoring
Defense: Touchdown (7pts) .. Forced Turnover (7pts) .. Forced 3-and-out (3pts) .. Defensive stop (2pts)
With that in mind Red (defense) topped White (offense) 51-35 at Maryland Stadium.
Here are three things you need to know.
1) Offense capable of big plays
This spring, defensive lineman Jesse Aniebonam described the Maryland offense under new offensive coordinator Walt Bell as “electrifying.” We saw flashes of that on Saturday.
Caleb Rowe found Levern Jacobs for a 48-yard touchdown. Gage Shaffer found Jacobs for a 51-yard score. Ty Johnson was virtually untouched on a 64-yard touchdown run. Perry Hills found Malcolm Culmer for a 40-yard touchdown. Rowe found Jacquille Veii for a 63-yard touchdown.
Of course, the question is whether this is a product of an offense making major strides or a defense that struggles. The tendency is to believe that the former is happening. Bell’s up-tempo style is designed to be difficult to deal with. We’re seeing that.
2) Defense created some turnovers
Durkin’s defense is known to be an attacking style. They are transitioning to new defensive coordinator Andy Buh, which will take some time, but you saw some of the underlying principles of what we will see in the future.
Antwaine Carter picked off a Gage Shaffer pass. The defense forced a fumble from Jahrvis Davenport and did a solid job getting to the quarterback.
3) First look at some new special teams pieces
Kicker Brad Craddock has graduated, meaning Adam Greene now takes over in his place. He missed a 45-yard field goal in his only attempt on Saturday. Australian punter Wade Lees got his first reps. Will Likely, limited by injuries, only fair-caught punts.
Expect Maryland’s special teams to be a major part of what it does this season, though. Durkin has experience as a coordinator and current coordinator Pete Lembo comes from Ball State where he was a head coach.
Once all the pieces get into place, Maryland could be in business.