One would think Josh Jackson’s Maryland debut was impressive, but at least one analyst was not too impressed by it.
The Terrapins rolled in Week 1 with Jackson leading the way. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 245 yards and 4 TDs. He also did not turn the ball over in the win.
While the stat line looks good, Pro Football Focus analyst Cam Mellor said Jackson really didn’t have any tough throws in the game. Additionally, Jackson’s best work in his career has come against lesser competition. That won’t be the case when facing off against Syracuse.
Paul A. Esden Jr. with Inside the Loud House shared Mellor’s comments:
“Jackson did play well, but from a grading perspective, most of his throws were open,” said Mellor during an appearance on Drive Time Sports of The Score 1260. “Of his 15 completions on the day, 11 of them were deemed wide open passes. On one hand, he was doing exactly what you want him to do, but when you step up in competition from Howard to Syracuse that’s going to be the true litmus test.
“Although when you look at his highest-graded games historically they’ve been against Delaware and East Carolina. When he was at Virginia Tech he was ninth overall in the conference in overall grade. I think he needs to rely on his rushing ability because Syracuse is going to bring some pressure. If he can improvise when plays break down he should do fine.”
No one is debating Howard is not the highest competition, but Jackson did all he could and looked good in the opener. Now, he’ll get a chance to show he can still do it against a Power 5 opponent.
Saturday’s kickoff against the Orange is set for 12 pm EST on ESPN.