Maryland Looking For Signature Big Ten Win in Wisconsin

Featured, Sports and Bets — October 25, 2014 at 8:37 am by

That was one hell of a homecoming win last Saturday. Maryland came out and found themselves down fourteen to Iowa. The Terps have been in that position a few times this season.  This time they battled back from that early deficient to take a 38-21 lead late in the fourth quarter. Iowa tried to make it interesting, but Maryland held on and finished with a touchdown win to move to 2-1 in the conference, and 5-2 overall.

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There were many “experts” and college football fans who thought the Terps would be a laughing stock in the Big Ten, but their 2-1 conference record speaks otherwise. While wins over Indiana and Iowa are nice accomplishments and a good starting point for Maryland, they still need a signature Big Ten win to really make a name for themselves.  I think they have a chance at getting that win Saturday in Wisconsin and here’s why.

Wisconsin is a top-tier Big Ten team with a long tradition of winning. In terms of football, the Badgers are on much higher level than Iowa or Indiana, and no one would dispute that. When Maryland beat the Hawkeyes last week people said, “Man that’s a good win for the Terps,” but it wasn’t a game changer that left the world of collegiate athletics stunned. If Maryland can go into a hostile Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin, with 80,000 die-hard fans cheering against them and come out with a win, well, that my friends will certainly stun people and put Maryland Football on the map. It sounds great in theory, but it isn’t going to be an easy task. That doesn’t mean it’s not doable.

Wisconsin’s rushing offense is going to be a huge issue for Maryland all game long. The Badgers, at 343 rushing yards per game, have the 2nd highest rushing average in Division 1 football. That’s especially scary for a Terps run defense that got gashed on the ground badly by the Ohio state Buckeyes, who racked up 269 rushing yards in that game. Top-Tier programs like Ohio State and Wisconsin have very large, and very good offensive lines. Maryland is going to have to a much better job against those big boys up front then they did a few weeks back against the Buckeyes if they want to have any shot at winning this game. Maryland managed to hold Iowa to only 116 rushing yards; hopefully the Terps defense can keep that up and limit the Badgers ,and their featured back Melvin Gordon, to a moderate day.

The key for Maryland on offense, if they want to win this game, is to do something I have been saying they need to do more of all season. Get the ball to the wide receivers. The Wisconsin defensive stats don’t tell the entire story. The Badgers haven’t really run across too many contending teams yet this season, and Maryland’s strong receiving core may be the best the Badgers have seen in 2014. All season I have been hyping these wideouts up, but they haven’t really had their breakout week yet. We started to see the potential last week with a 9 catch for 130 yards and a touchdown performance from Stefon Diggs. Quarterback C.J. Brown isn’t the greatest of passers, but he’s going to have to be this week. Many teams use the rush to set up the pass, Maryland needs to use the pass to set up the rush. The Terps need challenge the Wisconsin secondary, the unit may be the Badger’s achilles’ heel.  Force them to respect the downfield game and force them to drop back in coverage, that will open up rushing lanes for the backs, and for C.J. himself.

If the Terps can do these few things, and I believe that they are capable of doing them, they might just get the biggest win for Maryland Football in at least a decade or two.

Lets Go Maryland!

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