For the Maryland Terrapins this season, much of their success will depend on the play of their quarterback, Taulia Tagovailoa.
There is no question that since arriving in 2020, Tagovailoa has elevated the program to a point of respectable relevance. In the last two seasons, the Terrapins have averaged over seven wins. In those seasons, their offense has averaged over 373 total points. Tagovailoa himself has averaged 3,434 passing yards and 22 passing touchdowns.
Even with this, the Terrapins have yet to come through in big games against their Big Ten rivals. Last season, they fell to Michigan, Ohio State, and a Penn State team that shut them out. In 2023, the conference will be as wide-open as it has been in recent memory. For Tagovailoa, a win against any of the top teams could potentially put them on a path to playing for the conference championship.
This offseason has seen the Terrapins add some serious talent to their offense in graduate transfer receiver Tyrese Chambers out of FIU and 6'4, 210-pound receiver Kaden Prather out of West Virginia. The addition of both receivers can only help Tagovailoa increase his production, which should inevitably translate into more wins.
After an 8-5 season in 2022, the Terrapins have much reason to believe they can become viable contenders for the conference title. As for Tagovailoa, he should once again have a heavy load to carry on his back. If his career has shown us anything, it is a burden that he is willing to take for the success of his team.