Maryland travels to Rutgers looking for their fifth win of the season. Here is what you need to know:
Rutgers is putting up a fight this year
The Scarlet Knights have won two games in Big Ten play for the first time since 2014, their first year playing in the conference. Their win over Illinois was actually their first conference win in nearly two calendar years.
Statistically, these teams are fairly even, but this game will come down to a few key points. The Rutgers defense has shown to be their strength, even though they have not faced all the same talent Maryland has.
The Terrapins will have to show that their pass defense is not as bad as the number say. They currently rank 121st (out of 130 teams) with an average of 277.9 passing yards given up per game. Rutgers does not sport a heavy passing offense, so Maryland should be able to handle their business if the defense is not a real problem.
This game could simply come down to who gets in a rhythm on offense. Both teams sport under 35% conversion rates on third down, so avoiding tough situations will be a major key.
This win is crucial for Maryland’s bowl hopes
Looking ahead for Maryland, they need this win if they want any shot at making a postseason appearance for the second year in a row. Taking the loss against Northwestern may end up being very costly for Durkin and his team.
After this road matchup, the Terrapins face Michigan at home, Michigan State on the road, and close the season with Penn State at home. It is possible that Maryland can find one upset win out of these three, but two would be very difficult.
Even with a 5-7 record, Maryland could possibly sneak into a bowl game based on their strength of schedule, but you never would want to rely on that happening. Maryland simply needs this win to stay afloat.
Maryland Terrapins at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
When: Saturday, November 4th, 3:30 p.m.
Where: High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, New Jersey
Line: Maryland -3.5 O/U 110