Texas football vs. Maryland: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score
Terrapins host Longhorns in season opener
LANDOVER, Md. – Coach Tom Herman's message to his No. 21 Texas team has been simple as the Longhorns prepare for Saturday's opener against Maryland at FedExField. Herman reminded his team that the Terrapins, trying to overcome a summer full of scandal, beat the Longhorns 51-41 last year and are a good team.
TV: Noon ET, Fox Sports 1. LINE: Texas -13.5
Third-year coach DJ Durkin has been on paid administrative leave since Aug. 11 as Maryland investigates the June death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair after a workout and allegations of a toxic culture in the football program.
Offensive coordinator and interim coach Matt Canada, who joined Maryland this offseason from LSU, did not announce a starting quarterback at his press conference Tuesday.
Sophomore Sam Ehlinger was named the Longhorns' starter after leading the team in passing and rushing yards last season. Texas junior Malcolm Roach (37 tackles, two sacks) joins senior linebackers Gary Johnson (60 tackles, two sacks) and Anthony Wheeler (47 tackles, 2.5 sacks) in the middle of a defense that was strong against the run last year.
ABOUT TEXAS (2017: 7-6)
Ehlinger (1,915 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, seven interceptions and 385 rushing yards and two scores) split time with junior Shane Buechele (1,405 yards and seven TDs) last year.
Junior wideouts Collin Johnson (54 catches, 765 yards, two TDs) and Lil'Jordan Humphrey (37 catches, 431 yards, score) return after leading Texas last year. California graduate transfer Tre Watson brings plenty of experience (1,390 career rushing yards in 37 games) to a backfield that could also see sophomore Daniel Young (386 yards, three TDs) and freshman Keaontay Ingram share the load.
ABOUT MARYLAND (2017: 4-8)
The starting job is between a pair of quarterbacks who had 2017 end early because of knee injuries - sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome (who was hurt in the Texas game last year) and redshirt freshman Kasim Hill (who threw for 230 yards and two TDs before getting hurt in the third game).
The Terrapins return their entire offensive line to clear the way for top rushers Ty Johnson (a senior) and junior Lorenzo Harrison III, who have a combined 3,134 yards in the past two years. Defensive ends Jesse Aniebonam (a senior returning from an ankle injury) and Byron Cowart (a junior transfer from Auburn) should strengthen a defense that allowed 37.1 points per game last year.
1. The Longhorns finished 2017 ranked eighth nationally in rushing defense (106.8 yards).
2. Maryland will honor the memory of McNair with a moment of silence Saturday, the creation of a scholarship in his name and by keeping his No. 79 jersey open until his graduation year.
3. Five of Texas' six losses last year were by 10 points or fewer, the most among Power Five conference schools.
PREDICTION: Texas 37, Maryland 23
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