The Terps are welcoming Rutgers to Byrd Stadium this week, in what could be described as one of the biggest of the Ralph Friegen era. The all time series is in favor of the Terps 6-3, and this marks the first time the teams will play in College Park. The Terps are a well documented 1-2 this season, while the Scarlet Knights are 2-1 coming in. This game has to be the game where Maryland begins to put it together or the season could fall into a tail spin from which it may not be able to recover.
There is plenty of information at your fingertips about Maryland but what do we need to know about Rutgers? First of all they got beat down pretty bad in week 1 against Cincinnati. In that game, former starting QB Domenic Natale threw three first half interceptions. Enter true freshman Tom Savage. He played well in the second half, and led Rutgers to a win over Howard. Then in his second start he helped them to a lead over FIU before leaving with a head injury in the fourth quarter. That brings us to this week, and it really sounds like he is going to be a game time decision for the Maryland game. Either way Savage did have trouble with a pressure defense from FIU, and Rutgers has yielded 9 sacks so far this season. Here’s to hoping the Terps can continue to pressure the way they did at times against MTSU. The key for the Maryland defense will be tightening up the big plays. Also look for a bit of a wildcat attack from Rutgers in QB Jabu Lovelace who has racked up some nice gains on the ground.
I really felt they made improvements on defense, but then there were a handful of plays that killed them. Rutgers is lead by a rushing attack of Joe Martinek (213 yards 1 TD) and Jourdan Brooks (142 yards and 3 TD). Tim Brown (14 catches, 349 yards) seems to be a a deep threat that will be sure to challenge the Terps defense all game long. Mohamed Sanu also has 15 catches for Rutgers.
The Rutgers defense has been up and down. They did allow over 500 yards of total offense to Cinci in the opener, so that skews the numbers a bit, but they still are ranked toward the bottom of the Big East in both total defense and scoring defense.
There are your quick facts about Rutgers. It really sounds they have a lot in common with Maryland. A team that is still trying to figure out its identity, and is working on improving each week. They have some potential weapons, and if they can get button up the offensive line play, and give either QB some time, they have some skill position players that can make big plays. Let’s hope the Terps are able to contain them this week, and start to build some much needed positive momentum. Until then Go TERPS!
Almost forgot, both Bruce Campbell, and Jamari McCollough are probable this week, but not expected to play full games.