Buck Suhr knows Indiana football.
Suhr spent 18 seasons on the IU football staff as either an assistant coach or administrator. He was the running backs coach for 12 years under Bill Mallory. Among the running backs he coached was IU All-American Anthony Thompson.
Now he serves as the color commentator on Indiana football radio broadcasts along with Don Fischer.
Every Friday before an IU football game this season, Suhr will take a look at the upcoming IU opponent after watching film during the week in our The Buck Stops Here feature.
When people talk about Maryland, they talk about how athletic the Terrapins are. The first question for Suhr was the obvious one. How athletic did Maryland look?
“Their wide receivers are athletic and their quarterback is athletic,’’ Suhr said. “And they have one defensive back that is very athletic. As a whole they kind of have a group of really athletic guys but I wouldn’t call their team athletic other than that core of receivers and the one defensive back.
“Those guys are really athletic but the rest of their football team is so-so.’’
So what jumped out at you after doing your game study of Maryland?
“The defensive back (William Likely) is a really good football player,’’ Suhr said. “He is a guy that affects the game both the return game, offensively, defensively, he can simply change the game by himself. He is one of the better players in the Big Ten.’’
Likely leads the team in interceptions with two for 89 yards and also averages 27.5 yards on six punt returns. He has a touchdown and a long of 69 yards this season.
Suhr said the wide receivers are also a very athletic group. Stefon Diggs has 23 catches in four games for 286 yards and one touchdown. Two other receivers – Marcus Leak and Deon Long – have 11 catches each.
“The wideouts are guys that can go the distance at any time,’’ Suhr said. “They really have big play capability.’’
Suhr also talked about Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown, someone that both IU head coach Kevin Wilson and Indiana defensive coordinator Brian Knorr talked a lot about this week. Knorr should know him pretty well as he spent the last three seasons as the DC at Wake Forest.
Brown has completed 55.8 percent of his passes for an average of 208.2 yards per game with six touchdowns and three interceptions. He also leads Maryland in rushing with 244 yards, an average of 61 yards per game.
“Everybody talks about their quarterback and I think he is okay,’’ Suhr said. “I think he is better than (Missouri quarterback Maty) Mauk. He’s another big play specialist guy.’’
Suhr said he thought Maryland had some areas defensively that could be exploited.
“They’ve lost four linebackers so they’re pretty thin back there and they’re not very good on defense,’’ Suhr said.
Maryland is giving up 199.2 yards per game on the ground while that is one of Indiana’s biggest strengths. IU tailback Tevin Coleman is leading the nation in average yards per game rushing through three games.
“There are a lot of big plays in that rushing total but they do a lot of different things on defense and they caught out of position,’’ Suhr said. “They’re just not very good on defense with the exception of that one corner. It will be interesting to see what they do with him against Indiana.’’
Last week, Suhr talked about how good the Missouri offensive line was and then Indiana went out and dominated the Tigers up front all day. Suhr said a big reason for that was that Missouri’s starting left guard went out early in the game and the line never recovered. He called Maryland’s O-Line “OK.’’
“They’re probably better for pass blocking than they are for run blocking but nothing special,’’ Suhr said.
That’s our fourth installment of The Buck Stops Here at AllHoosiers.com. Look for the next one on Friday, Oct. 3 previewing the IU-North Texas game.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/FoxsportshutchIU Insider Blog: Must-Win Game in September?
Nearly 40,000 tickets sold for Maryland game
Daily Feature: Scouting the Opponent
Daily Feature: Prediction Time
Tevin Coleman: A look at the Numbers