Be careful what you wish for. Josh Jackson was never really embraced by the fans at Virginia Tech. After leaving Blacksburg as a graduate transfer, at least in the early season it appears the Hokies’ loss has been Maryland’s gain.
Jackson helped lead the Terps to a dominant 63-20 blowout win over No. 21 Syracuse on Saturday and appears to have finally brought stability to the quarterback position in College Park.
There is not much you can learn from Maryland’s first game against Howard. Sure, Jackson was great, but it came against an FCS opponent that could not seem to punt the ball effectively and who the Terps ultimately put up 79 points against. You have to take the stats from that game with a grain of salt. Week 2 gave us a much better glimpse of what the Terps are and the results are pretty darn impressive.
Through just two games, Jackson has a 58.1-percent completion percentage, 541 passing yards, seven touchdowns and only one interception.
Jackson started as a redshirt freshman for Virginia Tech in 2017. He threw for 2,991 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions to help the Hokies to a 9-4 season. Yet, despite his success, the Hokies fan base was not satisfied after Jackson struggled in the last four games of the season. An injury cut his season short in 2018 and Jackson saw himself passed over by Ryan Willis.
Now with Maryland, Jackson obliterated Howard’s secondary in just one half’s worth of work. In his first game for Maryland, he completed 15 of 24 pass attempts for 245 yards and four touchdowns, all in the first half. On Saturday against much tougher competition, Jackson looked even better.
Against a Syracuse team that relied on its defense in a Week 1 shutout over Liberty, Jackson threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns. He has the offense clicking as Maryland has scored 142 points in just two games.
Losing quarterbacks has become something of a tradition in College Park. In the past five years, Maryland has had seven different quarterbacks throw at least 45 passes in a season. Part of the issue has been horrible injury luck, but the Terps also have not had a firmly established quarterback for several years. After just two games, that no longer seems to be the case.
Jackson now is firmly entrenched under center and suddenly a daunting Big Ten East schedule for the Terps is looking a lot more manageable.