Underdog Buffalo preparing for Maryland’s passing attack
A major point of emphasis in the offseason for Buffalo coach Maurice Linguist was explosive plays — both how to create them and how to stop them.
When heavy underdog Buffalo of the MAC travels to Maryland of the Big Ten in both teams’ season opener Saturday in College Park, Md., the Bulls will get a rigorous test of the latter.
Coming off a year in which he set single-season program records in passing yards (3,860), accuracy (69.2 percent) and touchdowns (26), Terps quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is primed to improve on those numbers.
He will operate an offense that returns nearly intact, including his top two receivers Rakim Jarrett (62 catches, 829 yards) and Dontay Demus Jr. (28 catches, 507 yards).
“The plan they put together … is a very vertical passing attack,” Linguist said. “They can stretch the field horizontally as well.”
In his fourth season at Maryland, Mike Locksley is looking to take another step forward. The Terps went 7-6 last year and are looking to make noise in the Big Ten after another strong year of recruiting.
“The most improved unit on our team is our offensive line,” Locksley said. “I like our young running backs, the power that they run (with) as well as the different skill sets they all bring.”
Achieving that against the strong front seven of Buffalo, led by linebacker James Patterson and tackle Daymond Williams, won’t be easy.
Coming off a 4-8 season, which was Linguist’s first as a head coach, Buffalo also is looking to make more big plays on offense. To that end, Linguist has named Rutgers transfer Cole Snyder the quarterback over incumbent Matt Myers.
In three seasons at Rutgers, Snyder appeared in nine games, throwing one touchdown pass. He’ll have a quality wideout to throw to in Quian Williams, who had 64 catches for 835 yards last year.
Buffalo has only three starters back on offense but the unit is an unknown quantity as several transfers from Power 5 conference schools, in addition to Snyder, will take over starting spots.
Last year’s top rusher Dylan McDuffie (1,049 yards) transferred to Georgia Tech, leaving Ron Cook Jr. as the top backfield threat.
This will be the first meeting of the programs.
–Field Level Media