Maryland Scouting Report: Defense & Punting

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The Terrapins are coming off their best defensive half of the season. After surrendering 260 total yards and 17 first downs in the first half to Clemson, the Maryland defense clamped down and turned in an exceptional second-half performance. The Terps limited the Tigers to no points, 112 total yards – including just 26 rushing yards – and only two first downs during the second half. It was the first time this season Clemson was held scoreless in a half.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look:

Statistics

  • Nationally the Terps are ranked 59th in rushing defense, 53rd in scoring defense, 87th in total defense and 74th in pass efficiency defense.
  • The Maryland defense currently ranks among the ACC’s leaders in defensive third down efficiency (third – 29.9 percent) and sacks (tied for fifth – nine). The unit also is among the nation’s leaders in several categories, ranking 20th in defensive third down efficiency, tied for 21st in interceptions (seven), and tied for 29th in turnovers gained (10).
  • At Clemson, the Terrapin defense allowed 195 yards rushing in the first half, but only 26 yards on the ground after intermission.
  • After failing to post a sack in the first two games of the season, the Maryland defense has gotten to the opposing QB nine times in the last three games and posted 20 tackles for loss.
  • Virginia’s young offensive line has done its job in pass protection, allowing just five sacks in four games. The Cavaliers are tied with Florida State for the second-fewest sacks allowed in the ACC. UVa ranks 14th nationally in fewest sacks allowed.

Personnel & Strategy

Personnel. Maryland returns five starters and 20 letter winners from a defensive unit that ranked 24th nationally in points allowed (21.5 PPG) and 40th in total defense (358.0 YPG) last fall. The unit boasts

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