Maryland did not get much of a test in Week 1 against Howard as the game quickly turned into a laugher. The competition ramps up in Week 2 as No. 21 Syracuse (12 p.m., ESPN) visits College Park.
Here are five things to know for Saturday's game.
Syracuse will live and die with its defense
The Orange won their opener on the road at LIberty 24-0, but don't let that score fool you. This game was closer than it looked. Syracuse's strength is its defense and it proved to be the saving grace on Saturday. The Orange led only 3-0 at the end of the first quarter and 10-0 at halftime. They turned the ball over three times and walked away with only 176 yards passing.
How do you win a game like that? Because the defense recorded eight sacks, four turnovers and held Liberty to negative-four rushing yards
Maryland appears to have the edge at quarterback
Josh Jackson had a great debut with the Terps as he completed 15 of his 24 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns. He did that in just the first half as he did not play in the second. Obviously, Syracuse's defense will present a much more difficult challenge and Saturday will give us a much better idea of just what Maryland is working with under center.
Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito had a really rough start to the season with only 176 passing yards and two interceptions. One thing he does well, however, is he is able to spread the ball around. Eight different players recorded at least one catch for the Orange against Liberty. DeVito is also somewhat of a threat on the ground as he rushed for 21 yards.
Both teams want to run the ball
Maryland had a big day through the air against Howard as the Bison showed a primary look of Cover 0, meaning they were loading the box with no deep pass coverage. The team's real strength on offense, however, appears to be on the ground and the same is true with Syracuse.
Despite the rough day through the air against Liberty, the Orange still managed 192 rushing yards. Moe Neal and Oklahoma transfer Abdul Adams got a bulk of the work with 14 carries each. They accounted for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Former ACC foes...sort of
Maryland left the ACC for the Big 10 in 2014, yet these two teams met only once as ACC foes back in 2013, a game Syracuse won 20-3. Syracuse and Pitt both joined the ACC in 2013 and the Terps played the Orange as both teams were in the Atlantic Division. Maryland left the following year and was replaced by Louisville.
Maryland and Syracuse did play again in 2014, but in a non-conference game. That time, the Terps won and that is the last time these two teams have met.
Isn't conference realignment fun?
Clemson is on the horizon
The Terps may be catching Syracuse at the right time. Not only do the Orange have their home opener next week, but that game will be against defending National Champion Clemson.
To summarize, Maryland gets to play a ranked team in College Park that is still shaking the rust off and who will be looking ahead to next week's big game against the best team in the nation. All the elements are here for an upset, it's just up to Maryland to get the job done.
MORE NCAA NEWS: