Maryland Terrapins vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Game Preview


Nov 15, 2014; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Daniel Adams (80) celebrates with wide receiver Jacquille Veii (34) after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Michigan State Spartans at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It has been an interesting but rewarding season for the Maryland Terrapins in their inaugural Big Ten season.  Although it is not quite over, the Terps have done some great things this season: beating Penn State and Michigan away from College Park were big accomplishments for the team. With impressive wins like that, head coach Randy Edsall  had nothing but praise for his players. The Terps could, with one more win against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, go 8-4 on the season.

In their regular season-ending battle with the Scarlet Knights, Maryland is coming off a big momentum building win over Michigan, and a big loss to that other Michigan team.

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The Terps will want to end the season on a high note before their bowl game, which has not been announced at this time.

The Scarlet Knights are coming off a huge 45-3 loss (some would call it a beat down) at the hands of Michigan State, so they’re looking to spoil senior day for the Terps in College Park. A win against the Terps would propel them to 7-5 overall and 3-5 in Big Ten play.

The Scarlet Knights are coming in with quarterback Gary Nova, who has over 2,000 yards passing (2,320), 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He struggled against Michigan State’s tough defense, completing only 11 of his 26 passes for 108 yards, and he threw two interceptions and no touchdowns. That kind of stat line for a quarterback will not win games for a team. Nova is listed as probable with a right foot injury.

In order for the Terps to stop Nova and the Rutgers offense, they have to pressure early and often, particularly in the passing game because Michigan State was able to get three takeaways on interceptions against them. If the Terps can generate takeaways in the passing game, that will allow for William Likely, Jeremiah Johnson and those boys to eat.

What will be interesting to see is how the Terps handle Rutgers’ rushing attack. Maryland’s front four is talented, but they have been known to get gashed for big yards in the running game, à la the Ohio State matchup, in which they gave up 269 yards on the ground.

From an offensive standpoint for the Terps, their sixth-year senior quarterback, C.J. Brown has to perform well in order for the Terps offense to do well, because the offense goes as he does. That’s really the case for all quarterbacks.

The Terps can cap the season off the right way if they can play stout defense and take away at least one phase of the Scarlet Knight offense. If they take away one phase, the rest will take care of itself. All in all, even if they don’t win this game, the Terps have exceeded expectations for their schedule, that’s for sure.