Maryland football opened the season with a new tradition and, hopefully for new head coach Mike Locksley, a new standard of winning as the Terps trounced Howard, 79-0.
Syracuse, on the other hand, is in Year 4 of the Dino Babers era and is coming off a 10-3 season that included a Camping World Bowl victory over the West Virginia Mountainers. The Orange opened the season with a 24-0 win on the road at Liberty, a game in which Flames head coach Hugh Freeze coached from a hospital bed in the press box.
There was little to complain about from the Terps' perspective after Week 1. The offensive line looked a bit shaky in pass protection, but that was mainly a product of Howard playing with no safety over the top and sending extra blitzers on almost every play. Perhaps most importantly, the Terps escaped the tune-up game without any serious injuries as they turn their attention to bigger and better opponents.
Redshirt sophomore Tommy DeVito was unspectacular in his first start in the post-Eric Dungey era. The Orange struggled to establish a presence in the run game and the offense had little rhythm throughout the day. The defense looked solid as they shutout Liberty and forced four turnovers.
Players to watch
Maryland: Terps quarterback Josh Jackson knocked off a bit of rust in his first start at Maryland. His first handful of throws were behind receivers and not on time. But Jackson settled down after his first drive and went on to finish 15-for-24 for 245 yards and four touchdown passes. He doesn't need a world-beating performance to take down Syracuse, but remaining steady at the helm should put the Terps in a good position.
Redshirt sophomore running back Anthony McFarland didn't play much against Howard, but still scored two touchdowns on just six carries in the first quarter. He'll look to get going against a Syracuse defense that was average at stopping the run last season. Sophomore receiver Dontay Demus Jr. is built exactly how you would build a receiver if you could make on in a laboratory. He's 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and has 4.4 speed. His three catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns are only a glimpse into what he can become in the Terps' offense.
On defense, it's hard to look past Maryland's rebuilt linebacking corps. Ohio State transfer Keandre Jones notched four tackles in limited action Saturday, including 1.5 sacks. Sophomore linebacker Ayinde Eley had six total tackles, including one for a loss, while Clemson transfer Shaq Smith added a sack of his own.
Syracuse: DeVito has officially succeeded Dungey behind center, and though he looked a bit shaky in Week 1, there's still plenty of hope among the Syracuse faithful that he's the man for the job going forward. He's less of a runner than Dungey was but is still mobile. Where he can really make noise is with his intermediate throws.
Senior running back Moe Neal should get plenty of run, especially if DeVito struggles again to find his game. Neal was second only to Dungey in rushing last season as he averaged 5.6 yards per carry and scored five touchdowns. Landover native and redshirt junior running back Abdul Adams proved his dual-threat ability catching two passes for 29 yards and adding 49 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. The Orange have a handful of receivers that could make some noise, too, but they were largely quiet in Week 1 because of DeVito's inconsistency.
On the defensive line, Syracuse has two difference-makers along the defensive line. Both Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman had 10 sacks and double-digit run stuffs last season. Coleman notched two sacks in Week 1, while Robinson picked up half a sack of his own. Against Maryland's offensive line, which looked shaky against Howard, the duo could cause trouble.
Offensive lines vs. defensive lines: Neither starting offensive line looked particularly convincing in establishing the run or protecting the passer last Saturday. On the other hand, each defensive line played a big role in neither team allowing any points. Which offensive line takes the bigger step forward in Week 2 could go a long way in determining the outcome of this game.
How to watch
Who: Maryland Terrapins vs. Syracuse Orange
What: Regular Season Week 2
When: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD
TV Channel: ESPN (Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Olivia Dekker)
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: 105.7 FM (Balt) / 980AM (DC) (Johnny Holliday, CJ Brown, LaMont Jordan)
Point Spread: Maryland -2
Weather: Sunny, with a high near 81.
Terps 2019 Season Schedule
Week 1, Maryland 79, Howard 0
Week 2, September 7, noon, ESPN: Syracuse Orange
Week 3, September 14, noon, CBSSN: at Temple Owls
Week 4, BYE
Week 5, September 27 (FRI), 8:00 p.m., FS1: Penn State
Week 6, October 5, TBD: at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Week 7, October 12, noon: Purdue Boilermakers
Week 8, October 19, TBD: Indiana Hoosiers
Week 9, October 26, TBD, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: at Minnesota Golden Gophers
Week 10, November 2, noon: Michigan Wolverines
Week 11, November 9, TBD: at Ohio State Buckeyes
Week 12, BYE
Week 13, November 23, TBD: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Week 14, November 30, TBD: at Michigan State