The good and the bad from Terps' 2014 football season

Maryland recently completed its season with a 45-21 loss to Stanford in the Foster Farms Bowl, a disappointing conclusion to a season the Terps began 7-4.

Here is a look at the positives and negatives from Maryland's first season as a member of the Big Ten, which the Terps finished 7-6, including 4-4 in conference play:


Wins over Iowa, Penn State and Michigan

Was this a down year for all three of those programs? Absolutely. Still, it was a positive for Maryland to beat three perennial Big Ten powers in its first year as a member of the conference. All three wins are good for perception. They could also help the Terps in recruiting, considering Iowa, Penn State and Michigan have all landed top prospects from Maryland and/or Washington, D.C., in recent years. While the Terps lost their final two games, this was a solid first year in the Big Ten.


Road success

Maryland was 5-1 on the road during the regular season, coming away with wins in traditionally tough environments at Syracuse, Penn State and Michigan.

The play of certain individuals

Brad Craddock won the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the top kicker in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Senior defensive end Andre Monroe finished second in the Big Ten in sacks per game. Sophomore outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue had 13.5 tackles for a loss. Maryland also got consistent big plays and solid play from sophomore cornerback Will Likely, junior wide receiver Stefon Diggs and senior inside linebacker Cole Farrand.

Likely tied for the Big Ten lead in interceptions. Diggs finished second in the Big Ten in catches per game and fourth in receiving yards per game. Farrand led the conference in tackles per game during Big Ten play and had standout games like his 19 tackle performance during the Terps' win over Indiana.

The return game

Led by Likely and Diggs, Maryland averaged a Big Ten-best 25.5 yards per kick return. In four games as the Terps' primary kick returner, Likely averaged 31 yards per return, and he returned a kick 100 yards for a touchdown during the Terps' loss to Stanford in the Foster Farms Bowl.

Behind Likely, Maryland was also fourth in the Big Ten in punt return average. Likely averaged 11.2 yards per punt return and returned a punt 69 yards for a game-tying touchdown during the fourth quarter of the Terps' loss to West Virginia.



Maryland's season-ticket sales were up 25 percent from 2013 and 35 percent from 2012. The Terps experienced a 14 percent increase in attendance, according to a report from That was the second-biggest increase among schools in the power five conferences. Maryland also sold out two home games for the first time since 2007.

Maryland still has significant work to do in terms of attendance and continuing to build interest in the football program. However, all of this at least represents a step in the right direction.

The play of QB C.J. Brown in the final two games of the regular season

Brown's sixth and final year as a Maryland quarterback left a lot to be desired and was full of off-target throws, poor decisions and missed opportunities. However, Brown had two of his better performances of the year in the Terps' final two games of the regular season, and he was a primary catalyst in Maryland's comeback win at Michigan.

Brown was 13 of 24 for 165 yards against Michigan while running for 87 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, and his passing numbers would have been better if not for several dropped passes.


Brown was 14 of 24 for 195 yards with two touchdown passes and no interceptions during the Terps' 41-38 loss to Rutgers in their regular-season finale, and he ran for 107 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries in that game.

The skills flashed by players who will return

Craddock, Likely and Ngakoue will all be back. Promising players such as sophomore running back Wes Brown and junior safety Sean Davis will be back as well.

Terps coaches were also encouraged by the play of freshman wide receiver Juwann Winfree and freshman outside linebacker Jesse Aniebonam, who will both be expected to take on bigger roles next season.

Winfree had 11 catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns, including four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown against No. 12 Michigan State.

Aniebonam was a presence as a situational pass rusher and showed some of why Maryland believes he has the potential to be a star getting after the quarterback.


The last two games

Maryland squandered a 35-10 first half lead in falling to Rutgers, which led to the Terps finishing the regular season 7-5 instead of 8-4. Maryland was then embarrassed in the Foster Farms Bowl by Stanford, which led 42-7 early in the fourth quarter before beginning to pull its starters.

These two games put a damper on an otherwise positive season.

The offensive line

Maryland averaged just 3.7 yards per carry and allowed 37 sacks, which was tied for second-most in the Big Ten. The offensive line was the most consistent problem area for the Terps throughout the season and needs to be upgraded if Maryland is ever going to challenge to be one of the better teams in the Big Ten.

Fortunately for the Terps, freshman tackle Derwin Gray, a four-star recruit who redshirted this season, appears to have a bright future. Maryland has freshman Damian Prince, a five-star recruit who was the prized piece of the Terps' 2014 class. Coach Randy Edsall has been complimentary of freshman center Brendan Moore, and the Terps appear to be in good shape to land highly rated Class of 2015 offensive linemen Isaiah Prince and Quarvez Boulware.


The defense the final two games

As good as Maryland's defense was against Indiana, Penn State, Michigan and Michigan, it was awful against both Rutgers and Stanford.

Rutgers posted 491 yards of total offense, and inconsistent quarterback Gary Nova was 28 of 42 for 347 yards with four touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Stanford had 42 points less than 10 seconds into the fourth quarter.


For the third straight year, Edsall had to deal with serious injuries to several key players, injuries that took away from Maryland's depth and prevented the Terps from reaching their full potential on both offense and defense.


Among the players that suffered season-ending injuries were starting wide receiver Taivon Jacobs, starting tight end Andrew Isaacs, starting defensive end Quinton Jefferson and starting cornerback Alvin Hill.

The Terps were also without key players such as Diggs and senior outside linebacker Matt Robinson for multiple games.

C.J. Brown

There were too many of those off-target throws, poor decisions and missed opportunities, especially for a sixth-year senior. Brown also hesitated at times to make plays as a runner as he tried to become more of a threat as a passer. He completed just 53 percent of his passes and had only 13 touchdown passes with 10 interceptions.