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The Longhorns open the season up against the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday, September 2nd at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. Vegas has Texas tabbed as an 18.5 point favorite over the Terrapins, and Tom Herman is looking to start his tenure as head coach on the 40 Acres with a resounding opening victory over Maryland. The HornSports Staff give their predictions on how the game will unfold below. Aaron Carrara It’s the season opener with new coaches and a new playbook, which means everyone should expect the cobwebs to hang around for a quarter or two. Tom Herman has his team ready to to take the field on Saturday, in the Texas sun, against a formidable team that finished 6-7 last season. Maryland has the potential to put points on the board with an offensive attack led by quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, which will allow Texas fans to see early on just how prepared Todd Orlando’s defense is. There has been a lot of chatter about the Longhorns being on upset alert on Saturday, but things would have to go really awry in order for Maryland to pull off the upset. Shane Buechele’s physical abilities have been incessantly praised by Herman, and he has an arsenal of quality receivers to spread the ball to. The Longhorn offense will show up and put points on the board. The Texas running game will be powered by an attack led by Chris Warren and Kyle Porter, and a seasoned Maryland defense has the talent to stop the run and force Buechele to beat them in the air. In the end the Longhorns have the better talent and get things cranking in the 4th quarter to cement Tom Herman’s first win as head coach in Austin. Score Prediction: Texas 42, Maryland 24 Jameson McCausland The Texas defense should have no problems defending a team that had major problems protecting the quarterback in 2016. Despite the talent Terrapin running back Ty Johnson has, Texas should be able to stack the box and force Maryland to beat them through the air with Tyrell Pigrome. I have a feeling we will see some growing pains from the Texas offense throughout the game, but the Longhorns should move efficiently enough to to where the outcome is never in question. Score Prediction: Texas 35, Maryland 10 Harrison Wier The Texas Longhorns are looking to start off strong under the Tom Herman era. Fortunately, they start off the 2017 season with a matchup that reminds me a lot of the Charlie Strong led Longhorns. The Terrapins have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. They just can’t translate that talent over to wins. However, this game is no cupcake for Texas. How well the Longhorns do depends largely on how well they can contain Maryland’s dual threat quarterback. I have faith that Todd Orlando can dial up enough blitzes and coverage disguises to keep Maryland on their toes. I also have faith in Shane Buechele and the Texas WR corps. Under Tom Herman, QB’s just seem to get better. Maryland will put up some points, but Texas will be too much in the end. Tom Herman’s reign in Austin gets off to a good start. Score Prediction: Texas 45, Maryland 24 Ross Labenske It’s the beginning of a new era in Texas football. But the energy may prove to be too much for both teams, as the game might start out slow. That being said, the Terrapins’ Cinderella story will strike midnight as their upset will fall short as the Longhorns will prevail 38 – 17. The game might be closer than predicted, but once the gears start turning it will be too much for the visiting B1G underweights. Expect Devin Duvernay and John Burt to have high numbers as the Longhorns’ offense will be well on its way to its most potent in years. Connor Williams and Zach Shackelford will lead the way for a Texas rushing attack that will average at least 100 yards on the ground, regardless of who may carrying the pigskin. Score Prediction: Texas 38, Maryland 17 Daniel Seahorn Last year Texas kicked off the season with a barn burner against then ranked Notre Dame and everyone (including myself) thought that Texas was back and on the uptick. We all know what happened after that. Maryland isn’t Notre Dame and this isn’t a prime time matchup, but the point is to not get too high or to low based on how this week one game against the Terps plays out. On paper this is a game that Texas should with relative ease. This Maryland squad was dangerously close to having a 7 game losing streak in 2016, but managed to pull out a win against a under performing Michigan State team. The Terps will also be breaking in a first time starter at quarterback in sophomore Ty Pigrome, who didn’t exactly light the world on fire in limited action last year and is still learning on the job. Not an ideal situation for Maryland as they walk into what is sure to be a packed DKR on Saturday. With that said, I still expect this to be a solid test for Texas on both sides of the ball, as we get our first glimpse of Tom Herman’s Longhorns. The Maryland offense did a good job pounding the rock last year and they will no doubt be looking to establish the run early so they can take as much pressure off Pigrome as possible. Texas’ front seven will need to show some renewed discipline and the ability to remain gap sound so they can limit cutback lanes. The name of the game will be to keep the Terp offense behind the sticks and keep Pigrome in the pocket so he has to beat you with his arm. Take care of the football offensively and don’t allow the opposition to extra possessions and a chance to shorten the game by taking the air out of the ball. Overall, I think this will be a successful debut for Herman and his staff. I expect the team to be physical and well prepared for what Maryland will throw at them. From a talent standpoint, I don’t think Maryland matches up well against Texas and that particularly goes for offensive line when it comes to protecting their young quarterback. I expect Todd Orlando to throw several looks at Pigrome and will try his best to get his wheels spinning mentally in order to force some mistakes. I’m taking the Longhorns against the Terps on Saturday, and I will gamble and say they cover the spread. Score Prediction: Texas 42, Maryland 17