Maryland vs. Rutgers prediction and game preview. The Terrapins try to earn an elusive sixth victory when it faces the Scarlet Knights on Saturday.
Maryland vs. Rutgers Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 26 – Noon ET
Where: Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD
TV Broadcast: ESPNEWS
Maryland is getting its fifth chance to become eligible for a bowl game having lost the previous four. Earning its sixth victory would be an accomplishment under first-year coach D.J. Durkin, who took over a team that won three games last season. However, the Terps are facing quarterback issues because of the persistent injuries plaguing starter Perry Hills.
It might not matter who is under center for Maryland in this one, though. Rutgers is the only Big Ten team without a conference win and has scored seven points or fewer six times with four shutouts in those eight defeats. The Scarlet Knights have been blanked twice in a row, falling 49-0 to Michigan State and 39-0 last week against Penn State.
What To Know About Maryland
True freshman Max Bortenschlager got the start in last week’s 28-7 loss to Nebraska because Hills sat out again with injuries to both of his shoulders. It’s been a recurring problem for the Terps, who have used four different quarterbacks. Durkin said he was impressed with the first career start of Bortenschlager, who went 14 of 29 for 191 yards, including a 92-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Moore.
Bortenschlager’s start made it 11 true freshmen who have started at any position this season for Maryland, tied with South Carolina for most in the country. Getting to a bowl game would be impressive given how young this team is, especially with a new head coach.
What To Know About Rutgers
Chris Ash took over after being co-defensive coordinator for Ohio State and knew he was undertaking a huge task to rebuild Rutgers’ program. Even he might not have realized just how much work he has to do. The Scarlet Knights are less talented at nearly every position in every game and cannot find any consistency on either side of the ball.
Rutgers is dead last in the nation in total offense per game and 103rd in total defense. It has gained only 236 yards offensively over the last two weeks combined.
Offense: Maryland – The Terps might be a mess at quarterback, but there’s still more talent there than for Rutgers.
Defense: Maryland – See Rutgers’ stats above.
Special Teams: Even – Both teams have blocked three kicks this season.
Coaching: Even – Durkin and Ash both came from big programs that had plenty of success. It’s going to take some time for that to translate to their new programs.
Intangibles: Even – The series is tied at one game apiece since they joined the conference.
Matchup To Watch
Maryland quarterback vs. Rutgers defense
We don’t know if it’ll be Bortenschlager, Hills or Caleb Rowe yet. Whoever is under center will need to help put this game out of reach quickly and not let Rutgers hang around.
Spread: Maryland -13.5
Maryland vs. Rutgers Prediction
Maryland scores two defensive touchdowns and gets two rushing touchdowns from Ty Johnson as the Terps become bowl-eligible.
Maryland vs. Rutgers Final Score Prediction: Maryland 38, Rutgers 7