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Maryland Terrapins Football Preview: Predicting the 2016 season

After a week spent looking at the team and getting expert opinions on all things Maryland Terrapins football, it is time for the staff of talking10 to put their money where their mouths are.

That means it is once again that time of the week where we not only give you a simple record prediction, but we also take a look at how we see each and every one of the 12 regular season games play out.

Let’s not waste any more time, it’s on to the predictions.

2016 Maryland Terrapins Football Schedule

Date Opponent Time/TV Tickets
Saturday
Sep. 3
Bison Howard Bison
Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD
Noon ET
BTN
Buy
Tickets
Friday
Sep. 9
Golden Panthers at FIU Golden Panthers
FIU Stadium, Miami, FL
7:30pm ET
CBSSN
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Sep. 17
Knights at UCF Knights
Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando, FL
7:00pm ET
CBSSN
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Sep. 24
OFF
Saturday
Oct. 1
Boilermakers Purdue Boilermakers (HC)
Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD
3:30pm ET
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 8
Nittany Lions at Penn State Nittany Lions
Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Noon ET
TV TBA
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 15
Gophers Minnesota Golden Gophers
Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 22
Spartans Michigan State Spartans
Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD
7:30pm ET
BTN
Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Oct. 29
Hoosiers at Indiana Hoosiers
Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Nov. 5
Wolverines at Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Nov. 12
Buckeyes Ohio State Buckeyes
Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Nov. 19
Cornhuskers at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
TBA Buy
Tickets
Saturday
Nov. 26
Scarlet Knights Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD
TBA Buy
Tickets

*courtesy FBSchedules.com.

vs. Howard Bison
Andy: Win
Dave: Win
Kevin: Win
Zach: Win

Maryland may be in the first season of a new era, but it certainly is in a much better position than a Howard Bison team that is coming off a 1-10 season and lost 76-0 to a really bad Boston College program. Look for Durkin’s first season to get off on the right foot.

at FIU Panthers
Andy: Win
Dave: Win
Kevin: Win
Zach: Win

What is Maryland thinking with a game against FIU on the road? That’s some ACC type stuff…either that or a really smart way to plant a flag for recruiting in the Sunshine State. We’re going with the latter and we are all going with the win, but don’t be surprised to see Ron Turner’s team give the Terps a game here, as he is quietly building something at FIU.

at UCF Knights
Andy: Win
Dave: Loss
Kevin: Win
Zach: Loss

This one is interesting from our staff, apparently a few believe Scott Frost is going to be good enough to turn around the biggest disaster in college football last season. After all, the Knights went 0 for the entire 2015 season last year. Sure, UCF has the parts to be better, but better than what Maryland has in pure talent? I don’t think so, and a second trip to the state of Florida nets another win in my book.

vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Andy: Win
Dave: Win
Kevin: Win
Zach: Win

Poor Purdue, they get no love from anyone on our staff apparently, and why should they given their track record under Darrell Hazell. I expect this to be a very interesting contest, and perhaps the one that tells us the most about where Maryland really is as a Big Ten program. If they can get a decisive win, the Terps may be better than most believe, but a struggle at home against Purdue may indicate a long season ahead. Give me the former, as the Terps show Durkin was a great hire and they blow out the Boilers.

at Penn State Nittany Lions
Andy: Loss
Dave: Loss
Kevin: Loss
Zach: Loss

Maryland once went in to Happy Valley with bad intentions and came away winners. However, Penn State of 2016 is a far cry from that 2014 team and going in to Beaver Stadium and pulling out a win is a big ask for the Terps 0f 2016. The combination of Penn State’s very good defense and its really good running game should be enough to carry the day, but don’t be surprised to see it take until the second half to seal this one for PSU.

vs. Minnesota Gophers
Andy: Loss
Dave: Loss
Kevin: Win
Zach: Loss

While the Purdue game is likely to be a bellwether for the Terps 2016 season, this cross-over game is likely to be the make or break point for bowl game hopes. Unfortunately for Maryland fans, I’m much more a fan of what Mitch Leidner brings at QB than what Maryland can and a bigger fan of Minnesota’s defense than the Terps. Home field advantage won’t mean much in this one as the Gophers get a much-needed win themselves.

vs. Michigan State Spartans
Andy: Loss
Dave: Loss
Kevin: Loss
Zach: Loss

Last season was a big step forward for Maryland, holding MSU to just 24 points after giving up 37 in a loss in 2014. Could the Terps be in for the upset in this one? That would require a much more solid run game and a quarterback capable of getting the job done if the run game is shut down. For me, that’s a major ask against the Spartans defense, and just a bridge too far for 2016. Look for this to be another relatively easy win for the Spartans.

at Indiana Hoosiers
Andy: Loss
Dave: Loss
Kevin: Loss
Zach: Loss

By now I think you’re seeing the pattern of where our respective staff members are on the Terps 2016 season. Since we’re counting, this would be the fourth loss in row for three-quarters of our pickers, but it is the biggest toss up game on the Maryland schedule in my view. Memorial Stadium can provide a strange atmosphere and I actually trust that the Terps quarterback situation is going to be more settled by this point of the season. That said, there is a pretty big gap in offensive firepower overall, and I’ll take Devin Redding and a quality offensive line over Maryland’s so-so run defense at home.

at Michigan Wolverines
Andy: Loss
Dave: Loss
Kevin: Loss
Zach: Loss

I’m not as sold on Michigan as most are heading in to the season, but there’s no way I see the Terps going in to the Big House and taking this win. Whatever is happening in the Wolverines backfield, there’s just too much on the other side of the ball to suggest the Terps are going to be capable of putting up enough points to stick with U-M.

vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Andy: Loss
Dave: Loss
Kevin: Loss
Zach: Loss

See above…although, Maryland did give Ohio State a pretty good game and were tied at 21-21 early in the third quarter. But, it took a 170-yard day from quarterback Perry Hills to keep the Terps in the contest before falling apart in the final quarter and a half. I just don’t see that performance repeating itself, even if OSU may not be as stout defensively as it was last year. Add in OSU having J.T. Barrett as the full-time starter again and it’s a troublesome matchup for Maryland.

at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Andy: Loss
Dave: Loss
Kevin: Loss
Zach: Loss

Yes, this is the seventh-straight loss for the Terps in Big Ten play and that may seem a bit harsh. But, so is a trip from College Park, Md. to Lincoln, Neb. and that is a big reason why this is going to be a loss for Maryland. So is the arm and legs of Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong. Look for this to be a potential shootout though, as I’m not 100 percent sold either defense is going to be crazy hard to put up points on in 2016.

vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Andy: Win
Dave: Win
Kevin: Win
Zach: Win

Nothing like a home game against Rutgers to help ease the pain of a seven-game losing streak, right? While there are likely to be more important games, the history of these two in the Big Ten suggests this is likely to be the most entertaining game of the final weekend of the season. It will also be a good break from the crazy schedule Maryland has played over the last four weeks. Look for the bumps, bruises and learning experiences to pay off at home against Rutgers and for this one to need no crazy comeback to make a win happen this time either.

Season Records

Andy: 5-7 (2-7 B1G)
Dave: 4-8 (2-7 B1G)
Kevin: 6-6 (3-6 B1G)
Zach: 4-8 (2-7 B1G)

Our Projected Big Ten Standings:

Andy Dave Zach Kevin
Big Ten East
1
2 Michigan State Michigan State
3 Michigan State Michigan State
4
5
6 Maryland Maryland
7 Maryland Maryland
Big Ten West
1 Wisconsin Wisconsin
2 Wisconsin Wisconsin Nebraska
3 Nebraska Nebraska  Nebraska
4 Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
5  Minnesota
6 Purdue
7 Purdue Purdue

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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