Four young Terps to keep an eye on vs. Indiana on Saturday

September 27, 2014|By Matt Zenitz | Baltimore Sun Media Group

Maryland will depend on the usual group of core players to beat Indiana on Saturday in the Terps’ first conference game as a member of the Big Ten.

But Maryland could have to lean heavily on some young and previously under-the-radar players as well.

Here are four to keep an eye on:

Redshirt freshman outside linebacker Jalen Brooks

Brooks started in place of senior Matt Robinson against Syracuse last week and will start again if Robinson is unable to play against Indiana. Coach Randy Edsall said Brooks was “tentative” in his first career start last week, but the Terps will be reliant on better play from Brooks and the rest of their front seven if they are going to slow down Hoosiers running back Tevin Coleman, who enters Saturday having rushed for 132 yards or more in each of Indiana’s first three games.

Brooks would also be depended on to hold up in coverage against Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld and a Hoosiers passing game that has accumulated 599 yards through the air the last two weeks.

Sophomore tight end P.J. Gallo

Starting tight end Andrew Isaacs will miss the rest of the season after dislocating his knee against Syracuse last week, and Gallo will likely be the player most heavily depended on to replace Isaacs. Gallo is not the same caliber athlete or pass-catcher as Isaacs or redshirt freshman tight end Derrick Hayward, but teammates and coaches describe Gallo as a good blocker and a tough, smart and conscientious player. Hayward will likely see playing time as well, though.

Sophomore cornerback Jarrett Ross

Ross, the younger brother of Terps starting running back Brandon Ross, has been primarily a special teams player during his first year-plus at Maryland, but he will be the team’s third cornerback vs. Indiana and that Sudfeld-led passing game because of a knee injury suffered by starting cornerback Alvin Hill against Syracuse.

Freshman defensive tackle David Shaw

Shaw is now the top backup at nose tackle behind starter Darius Kilgo and will be relied on to spell Kilgo at different points on Saturday, which means Maryland will be dependent on him at times to help slow Coleman and the rest of Indiana’s ground game.

Shaw saw his first action of the season against Syracuse after Keith Bowers was moved from nose tackle to defensive end to help replace Quinton Jefferson, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against West Virginia Sept. 13.

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