Maryland Terrapins ready for prime-time battle with Spartans


The Maryland Terrapins have a big game in prime time against Michigan State on their hands tonight at 8 pm on the Big Ten Network. They’ll be looking to build more momentum after beating Penn State 20-19 in a heated contest in their last game.

The Terps likely aren’t going to have Junior wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who was suspended for on-field antics before the Penn State game, and later reports came out that he lacerated his kidney in the same game.

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That is going to be a big loss offensively in the passing game, seeing that he is their speedster at the wide receiver position. As always said in sports, the next man up has to perform and fill in the holes where Diggs’ production will be missed.  Players like Deon Long, Jacquille Veii and others are going to have to perform at a high level in this game if the Terps want to make up for the loss of production at that position.

The Michigan State Spartans (7-2, 4-1 in Big Ten play) are coming off a loss to Big Ten foe Ohio State 49-37, which means they will have extra motivation to beat Maryland handily on the road in prime time. According to ESPN, the Spartans are 35th in FBS in Passing Yards (271.2), 20th in Rushing Yards (246.3) and 6th in Points Scored (44.6). It’s safe to say that Michigan State has a high-powered offense in addition to the Spartans’ well-known defensive prowess.

Three players in particular should be focuses for the Terps on defense.

Junior Quarterback Connor Cook, who this season has 2,226 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in addition to a 59.7 completion percentage and a QB rating of 158.3. The boy is bad. Surely he will look to attack the Terps secondary.

Over this long season, the Terps have had trouble stopping the run. The running back they’ll be facing today is Senior Jeremy Langford, who has run the ball 178 times for 978 yards and 13 touchdowns. Keep in mind that he’s averaging 5.5 yards a carry, which is a big deal for a running back but also speaks to Michigan State’s offensive line.

If the Terps secondary wants to succeed today, they need to start by shutting down Senior wide receiver Tony Lippett, who has caught the ball 47 times this season and is on his way to 1,000 yards receiving. In addition to that, he averages 20.3 yards per catch, which means he’s Michigan State’s deep threat down the field.

This is going to be a tough game in prime time for the Terps, but as long they can neutralize one part of Michigan State’s game offensively, the rest will take care of itself. The running game will be a key factor as well to get Wes Brown going early and often. They have to ability to come out with a win given the circumstances, but it won’t be easy.