Maryland Football: Score Prediction vs. UCF

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Maryland football is 2-0, but will take a step up in competition when they take on UCF Saturday night. Here is our score prediction between the Terps and Knights.

So far so good for Maryland Terrapins Head Coach D.J. Durkin.

Maryland football is off to a 2-0 start after two blowouts over Howard and Florida International. They have outscored their opponents 93-27 and have nearly unstoppable on the ground. That figures to change this week with another trip to Florida.

UcF is coming off 51-14 drubbing at the hands of No. 5 Michigan Wolverines. Quarterbacks Nick Patti and Justin Holman each went 3-for-11 against Michigan for a total of 56 yards passing. Knights quarterbacks have completed just 44.8 percent of passes through two games. First-year head coach Scott Frost, Oregon’s former offensive coordinator, likes to use an up-tempo offense, but does not have the firepower he had at Eugene.

The Terps pounded Howard on the ground for 315 yards on 44 carries. It was a more balanced offense against FIU, gaining 238 yards through the air and another 239 yards rushing. The most impressive stat is that Maryland has yet to turn the ball over after leading the nation in interceptions a year ago.

This game figures to be much closer than the previous two contests. UCF does have some terrific athletes on their roster, but they also were winless a year ago and it will take some time before Frost turns the program around.

With that said, here is our prediction for the game…

The game is going to come down to which defense can stop the run. Maryland Offensive Coordinator Walt Bell has his ground attack firing on all cylinders which opens up the passing game. That has not been the case for UCF, however, as their quarterbacks have struggled to generate anything through the air.

Terps quarterback Perry Hills and wide receiver D.J. Moore have connected often to start the season. The sophomore wide receiver from Philadelphia has 10 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns, the most of any wide out on the team. Maryland has not needed to throw the ball often in the landslide wins, but UCF should offer more resistance on the ground than the first two opponents.

While UCF is a step up in class, it’s a slight one at best. It could be close in the first half, but expect Maryland to jump to a two touchdown lead midway through the third and cruise their way to their third victory.

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Our preseason prediction was that Maryland football would start the season 4-0. They are almost there and a win Saturday would put them halfway to becoming bowl eligible with nine games to go. That would hell of an accomplishment for a first-year coach.