Minnesota vs. Maryland fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 22
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD
Minnesota (3-0) vs. Maryland (2-1) Game Preview
One Reason Why Minnesota Will Win
The Maryland offense can’t move the chains.
Coming off a strange loss to Temple, the Terp attack went silent. It couldn’t throw on the Owls in the 35-14 loss – finishing with just 63 yards and two picks – and the running game didn’t help the cause.
And now it has to go against the Minnesota defense.
Going just 1-of-12 on third downs, time and again the Terp drives hit the wall. Welcome to the Gopher defense that’s among the best in the country so far on third downs, allowing teams to convert just 29% of their chances.
Minnesota has been suffocating, keeping the ball for a Big Ten-high 35:15 a game, owning the tempo and controlling games throughout. It hasn’t been pretty, but the system has worked. However …
One Reason Why Maryland Will Win
Star RB Rodney Smith is already out for the season, and now QB Zack Annexstad is hurting with an ankle injury. He’s expected to give it a go, but this isn’t a Gopher offense that can afford to lose any skill guys – or have their skill guys less than 100%.
Minnesota ran for just 118 yards last week against Miami University a week after averaging under three yards per carry against Fresno State.
Maryland has yet to face a killer ground game so far, but it was able to keep Texas to 142 yards, and even if the disaster against Temple, it gave up a mere 165 yards.
The Terp D should be able to keep the score in check, and then it’s up to the offense to bounce back from its miserable performance.
Awful last week, this is when QB Kasim Hill has to bounce back. For the first time all year, Minnesota will have to deal with a Power Five team that has a few decent weapons.
What’s Going To Happen
With the report coming out on the Maryland program, will that have any influence on how the team plays? Not really.
Minnesota has been terrific, but it’s also playing with fire. There isn’t enough of an offense to overcome even the slightest slip from the defense. After last week’s debacle, watch out for the Terps to turn it around and play far better at home on both sides of the line.
It’ll be a slugfest, but Maryland will hold on late – Minnesota won’t be able to mount a late comeback needed to stay unbeaten.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Maryland 23, Minnesota 17
Line: Maryland -3, o/u: 46
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3
1: Murphy Brown