Maryland's football team completed its regular season on Nov. 29 and is not practicing this week as players complete their final exams. That makes this a good time to hand out some regular-season superlatives.

The Terps, who are set to play Stanford in the Foster Farms Bowl on Dec. 30, finished the regular season 7-5, including 4-4 in Big Ten play.


Most valuable player: Sophomore cornerback Will Likely

The Belle Glade, Fla., native was a consistent difference-maker and game-changer for the Terps on both defense and special teams. Likely leads the Big Ten with six interceptions and has returned two for touchdowns — one that helped Maryland beat Syracuse, 34-20, on Sept. 20 and another that was key in the Terps' 38-31 win over Iowa on Oct. 18.

Likely also had a game-tying 69-yard punt return for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of Maryland's 40-37 loss to West Virginia on Sept. 13, and he averaged 28 yards per kick return after taking over the role from an injured Stefon Diggs late in the regular season.

Top offensive player: Junior wide receiver Stefon Diggs

While Diggs missed Maryland's final three regular season games, he still leads the Terps in catches (52), receiving yards (654) and receiving touchdowns (five).

Diggs ranks second in the Big Ten in catches per game (5.8) and fourth in receiving yards per game (72.7).

When healthy, he has been the most consistently productive player on an offense that had issues throughout the regular season.

Top defensive player: Likely

Several other Terps defensive players have had nice years as well, including defensive end Andre Monroe, outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue and inside linebacker Cole Farrand.

Monroe is second in the Big Ten with 9.5 sacks.

Ngakoue is seventh with 13 tackles for a loss, and he has six sacks.

Farrand is tied for third in the Big Ten in tackles per game (9.2), had a Big Ten-best 11.8 tackles per game during conference play, and he was one of the catalysts for Maryland in impressive team defensive performances against Indiana, Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan.

But Likely wins for the credentials listed above.

Top breakout player: Ngakoue


After not being much of a factor as a freshman, the former four-star recruit has the 13 tackles for a loss and posted a half-sack or more in six of the Terps' eight Big Ten games. The sophomore also has two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Most productive offensive freshman: Wide receiver Juwann Winfree

While Winfree was suspended the final two games of the regular season, the former four-star recruit had 10 catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns in the seven regular season games he played in, and he showed some of why Maryland coaches and players believe he has the potential to develop into a very good player. The Englewood, N.J., native had four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown against Michigan State in the last game he played in.

Most productive defensive freshman: Outside linebacker Jesse Aniebonam

One of the prized pieces of Maryland's past recruiting class, Aniebonam has been a presence as a situational pass rusher.

His numbers are modest — 14 tackles and a half-sack — but he has several pressures and multiple hits on quarterbacks.

Top win: Maryland's 20-19 win over Penn State on Nov. 1

This was an important win over a regional nemesis that has been a consistent nuisance for the Terps in recruiting. This win could help Maryland in recruiting. It was also just the Terps' second-ever win against Penn State after coming up winless in 36 of the previous 37 meetings.

Maryland's 23-16 win at Michigan on Nov. 22 is an honorable mention here, as the Terps won at the famous "Big House" against one of the storied programs in the Big Ten and played arguably their best game of the season.

Top play: Brad Craddock's game-winning field goal against Penn State

The junior kicker hit a 43-yard field goal with 51 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift Maryland to a 20-19 win.

Top individual offensive performance: Senior quarterback C.J. Brown vs. Michigan

Brown was 13 of 24 for 165 yards without an interception, had 87 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, and he led two late scoring drives to help Maryland overcome a 16-9 early fourth quarter deficit.

Brown was locked in, on-point throwing the football and would have had better passing numbers if not for several drops.

Maryland would not have won the game without Brown playing like he did.

Top individual defensive performance: Senior inside linebacker Cole Farrand vs. Indiana on Sept. 27

Farrand had 19 tackles, 1 ½ tackles for a loss and a pass deflection as Maryland limited star running back Tevin Coleman and Indiana's offense to nine points through three-plus quarters.

Farrand also busted into the backfield and stopped Coleman for no gain on a fourth-and-1 during the third quarter.

Most disappointing offensive player: Brown

While Brown played well during Maryland's final two regular season games and had other solid performances against teams like Iowa, the senior quarterback was inconsistent throughout the regular season and was off-target on too many throws that cost the Terps a chance at big plays.

Brown is completing just 53 percent of his passes, has only 13 touchdown passes against nine interceptions, and he was not the consistent factor as a runner that he had been in previous years until beginning to become more aggressive and decisive during the Terps' final two regular season games.

Most disappointing defensive player: Junior safety Sean Davis

While Davis ranks second on Maryland with 108 tackles, he does not have any interceptions and did not play to the level I thought he would after watching him during preseason practice, especially in coverage.

Davis was beaten for several big plays in coverage, including three touchdowns during Maryland's loss to West Virginia.

Has he had a bad season? No. But he looked poised to have a first- or second-team All-Big Ten-caliber season during the summer, and I thought he would be much more of an asset in coverage than he has been.

Most disappointing outcome: Maryland's 41-38 loss to Rutgers on Nov. 29

Maryland led 35-10 during the second quarter before being outscored 31-3 during the final two-plus quarters in allowing Rutgers to pull off the biggest comeback win in program history.

With a win, the Terps would have finished the regular season 8-4 and 5-3 in the Big Ten.

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