Maryland football vs. Rutgers preview

Looking to snap a three-game shedding streak in its last common season recreation, Maryland football takes on Rutgers Saturday at SECU Stadium. The Terps got here off their bye week flat, shedding two non-competitive video games to Wisconsin and Penn State, however got here out with extra vitality in opposition to Ohio State final week. It wasn’t sufficient to return away with an upset win, however there’s extra optimism surrounding the crew heading into its final recreation till a to-be-determined bowl recreation in December.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Maryland is a 14-point favourite in opposition to Rutgers and the over/below is 48.5 factors.

Saturday’s recreation will kick off at midday and shall be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-7, 1-7 Big Ten)

Since starting the season with three straight wins over Boston College, Wagner and Temple, Rutgers has fallen off a cliff and is again to being one of many worst groups within the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights’ sole win since then got here in opposition to Indiana, they usually have solely been aggressive in a couple of video games.

Despite the shedding spell, head coach Greg Schiano has gotten this system to a greater place than the constant doormat it was earlier than he began his second stint in Piscataway earlier than the 2020 season. When he was the top coach from 2001 to 2011, he had the Scarlet Knights rolling and even had a couple of temporary stays within the high 10 of the nationwide rankings. It would not seem like that stage of success is within the books with the crew now within the Big Ten, however Rutgers followers are optimistic that this system is not less than headed in the fitting course.

Players to look at

Gavin Wimsatt, sophomore quarterback, No. 2 — As the Scarlet Knights’ new beginning quarterback, Wimsatt has had his ups and downs. In his 5 begins, he has accomplished simply 45.4% of his passes and has thrown extra interceptions than touchdowns. At instances, although, he has proven glimpses of effectiveness, most notably his 236-yard, two-touchdown efficiency at Michigan State. He’ll want to maneuver the offense downfield if Rutgers goes to win.

Wesley Bailey, sophomore defensive lineman, No. 23 — Rutgers struggles to get to opponents’ quarterbacks, however Bailey has carried out his half, main the crew with 3.5 sacks this season. He hasn’t had one since Oct. 22 however did register a sort out for loss final week in opposition to Penn State. The Terps have struggled to guard their quarterback of late, so Saturday might be a very good alternative for Bailey to make some noise.

Christian Braswell, senior defensive again, No. 6 — A Washington, DC native and switch from Temple, Braswell has develop into a menace to opposing quarterbacks. He leads Rutgers with three interceptions this season and sealed the crew’s win over Indiana with a fourth-quarter pick-six. Needing a robust defensive displaying to beat Maryland, the Scarlet Knights will look to Braswell to provide you with a giant takeaway.

Adam Korsak, senior punter, No. 94 — Korsak is without doubt one of the nation’s finest punters and is an actual weapon for a crew that has to name on him incessantly. As the all-time NCAA chief in profession punt yards and the soon-to-be chief in punt makes an attempt, he’s a four-time All-Big Ten honoree and was an All-American final season. The Scarlet Knights have managed to permit a complete of -10 punt return yards this season, a testomony to Korsak’s capability to regulate subject place along with his proper foot.

Strength

Defense. Rutgers’ protection takes on the persona of its head coach — hard-nosed and difficult. The Scarlet Knights rank twenty seventh nationally in whole protection (334.9 yards per recreation) and twenty third in passing protection (191.2 yards per recreation). They do not make quite a lot of highlight-reel performs — they’re tied for final within the Big Ten in sacks and center of the pack in interceptions — however are good at limiting opponents’ offenses general.

Weakness

Offense. For as strong as its protection is, Rutgers’ offense is simply as dangerous — possibly worse. It ranks 124th nationally in whole offense, averaging fewer than 300 yards per recreation, and is near the underside in a mess of different statistics as effectively. The Scarlet Knights have a stark lack of athleticism and have subsequent to no constant large play threats. They are one in every of simply 19 groups in FBS to be averaging fewer than 20 factors per recreation this season and have scored that many simply 3 times of their 10 video games in opposition to FBS opponents.

Three issues to look at

1. How will the Terps fare in opposition to the run? Maryland’s protection has actually struggled in opposition to the run this season. For as dire as these struggles have been lately, the ultimate recreation of the common season might be a possibility to finish on a very good be aware. Rutgers ranks in the course of the Big Ten in speeding yards per recreation, however its rating is worse than any of the groups Maryland has performed within the final three weeks.

2. Senior day. Before Saturday’s contest, Maryland will honor 18 seniors or gamers who’ve exhausted their eligibility. It will not be the group’s final recreation because the Terps shall be taking part in in a bowl recreation, however it is going to be its final in College Park. However, with the latest pattern of NFL-eligible gamers sitting out bowl video games, there are few gamers which are both seniors or juniors eligible for the draft that might be suiting up for the final time in a Maryland uniform.

3. Can Maryland one-up its win whole from final yr? Last season was seen as a constructing block for the Terps, successful six common season video games for the primary time since 2016. With a win in opposition to Rutgers, Maryland would win seven video games within the common season for the primary time since 2014 and would match its report for convention wins in a season since becoming a member of the Big Ten with 4. Terps followers had been definitely hoping for extra when the season started, however a win would nonetheless maintain worth for a program persevering with to construct.

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