To the surprise of almost nobody, perhaps, Josh Jackson will be the starting quarterback for the Maryland Terrapins this fall. Head coach Mike Locksley made that decision official on Monday as the Terps are preparing for their season opener this weekend against Howard.
Jackson was the starting quarterback at Virginia Tech each of the past two seasons, although his 2018 season was cut short due to injury last September. Jackson underwent surgery for a fractured left fibula after suffering the injury in an upset loss to Old Dominion early in the 2018 season. Jackson had completed 36 of 58 pass attempts for 575 yards and five touchdowns with one interception and rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown for the Hokies in 2018. As a freshman in 2017, Jackson passed for 2,991 yards and 20 touchdowns with nine interceptions and he rushed for 324 yards and six more touchdowns for the Hokies.
Jackson transferred to Maryland this offseason as a graduate transfer. The addition of Jackson was a nice addition for Locksley fresh into the job and was expected to give Maryland a solid option at quarterback to begin the season. Maryland ranked 13th in passing offense in 2018 with just 141.3 passing yards per game as a team, with the third-fewest touchdowns thrown (12, tied with Michigan State; only Illinois (10) and Rutgers (5) had fewer touchdowns thrown among Big Ten teams) in the conference. No team in the Big Ten attempted fewer passes per game than Maryland last season, with just 20.1 attempts per game.
Supposing Jackson retains the job after the season opener, he’ll go head-to-head against a former ACC foe, Syracuse, in Week 2. Jackson did not face the Orange during his brief time at Virginia Tech.