If I asked you to think of the best offense in college football, where would your mind turn to first?
Would it turn to Tuscaloosa? Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been lighting up our TV screens for nearly two years now. As one of the top playmakers in the country, he's poised to be a finalist for this year's Heisman trophy. But it's not just him that makes the Tide's offense impressive. Their offensive weapons such as Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith are the four horsemen that ride one of the most talented groups of wide outs college football has ever seen.
Maybe it's not Alabama. Maybe it's Clemson. The Tigers' true sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence is putting on a show that the NFL is enjoying so much they already have teams thinking about risking it all just to draft him -- I'm look at you, Miami. Lawrence, like Tagovailoa, is in the driver's seat for a Heisman finalist nod with players like Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross and Travis Etienne to get the ball to. As the reigning National Champions, Clemson has the recipe to pour it on their opponent any week.
Or maybe it's the best of the midwest, the Oklahoma Sooners. OU head coach Lincoln Riley has coached back-to-back Heisman winners and No. 1 overall pick are quarterback the past two seasons, and this year he has quarterback Jalen Hurts looking like he has the potential to three-peat for the Sooners. With future NFL ball players like CeeDee Lamb, Grant Calcaterra and Trey Sermon around him, Hurts has the Sooners offense ready for a shootout any given Saturday.
But what if I told you that, though supremely talented, none of those teams are currently No. 1 in college football when it comes to scoring points. No, it's not Ohio State, Florida, Texas, LSU or Oregon, either.
It's the Maryland Terps.
Through two games this season YOUR 2019 Maryland Terps lead the nation in scoring offense with 70 -- COUNT 'EM, 70 -- points per game. Now, they played Howard, who they whooped the absolute pants off of 79-0, and Syracuse, who kept their pants on but still lost 63-20. So the competition was not fierce. But scoring that many points is still impressive.
At quarterback for the Terps this season is Josh Jackson, a transfer from Virginia Tech. Jackson started all 13 games for the Hokies in 2017, but after fracturing his fibula, missed most of the 2018 season and decided a change of scenery might do him good. Two games in and he's already over 500 yards passing with seven touchdowns, so I'd say that the change has been good, indeed. The Terps have many offensive weapons they've rotated in during their blowout victories, but when the real teeth of the schedule comes into play, Maryland's high powered offense will look to one many to carry them (literally) to continued success.
That man is redshirt sophomore running back Anthony McFarland Jr.
McFarland's stats may not be as explosive as they were last season (yet), as he has just 93 yards on 20 carries. But let's not forget what he did last year. In 2018, McFarland rushed for 1,034 yards on just 131 carries, an average of nearly 8.0 yards per carry.
The traits that created that productivity are alive and well in 2019.
McFarland's quickness and explosiveness are matched only by Clemson's Travis Etienne. In fact, where I think Etienne has McFarland beat in long speed, I think McFarland has him beat in agility.
An area of McFarland's game that I was hoping we would see improved success and improved usage was in the passing game. Through two games, McFarland looked better as a pass blocker, and as seen above, has seen some work as a pass catcher, too. McFarland had just seven catches through all of 2018. In two games in 2019, he already has three, and that's while sitting out the second half of both games due to the score being so one-sided.
It appears that in 2019 we're not only getting the part of Anthony McFarland we loved last year, but also some improved traits to make him an even more alluring prospects.
This college football season is shaping up to show a lot of excitement on the offensive side of the ball. But as you set your games to watch every week, don't forget about McFarland and the Terps' top offense. You might just be watching a Top 50 player.