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Rutgers vs Maryland: Complete Opponent Preview

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NCAA Football: Maryland at Rutgers Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Brief Overview

Ranking: 69, to view click here

Head Coach: D. J. Durkin (5-6, first season at Maryland)

2016 Record: 5-6 (2-5)

Current Streak: L4

SB Nation Site: Testudo Times

One Big Thing

This is a game that will take Maryland bowling if they win on Saturday. The 5-6 Terrapins have won two Big Ten contests this year, topping Purdue by a whopping 50-7, and a 28-17 win over fellow Big Ten East rival Michigan State. Rutgers is going into College Park playing for nothing but pride, carrying in a winless Big Ten record into the final game of the season.

Opponent Depth Chart

Key Offensive Information

Due to injuries, a true freshman with the unfortunate name of Max Bortenschlager started against Nebraska last week, and had a “deer in the headlights” look throughout the game. While he did throw for 191 yards in a 14-29 game, almost half of those yards came in a single play that gained 91 yards by sophomore wideout D. J. Moore. The running backs are not a lot better, where four of them combined for only 36 yards in 13 carries. The best runner on the squad, freshman Lorenzo Harrison, was suspended indefinitely earlier this month (along with two other players) for violating the student-athlete conduct code. However, with redshirt senior Perry Hills sitting back at the top of the depth chart at QB, Maryland fans feel they have a good shot of moving the offense this week.

Key Defensive Information

Throughout the season, head coach D. J. Durkin has shaken up the defensive lineup. Following a blowout loss (59-3) against Michigan, several backups were promoted to starters at nose tackle, defensive tackle, both safety positions and cornerback. However, following the next week’s 63-3 shellacking by Ohio State, the veteran players were put back in their starting roles, only to only to take it on the chin once again against Nebraska. Most writers thought that the defense would be deep enough to compete this season, but against the elite of the Big Ten, they struggled almost as much as Rutgers.

Why They Are Better Than Rutgers

Maryland is going into this game a 13 point favorite against the visiting Scarlet Knights. They have scored against every one of their Big Ten opponents this season, while Rutgers has been on the losing end of four extremely lop-sided scores in which they did not score a point this year. Coming into the game playing for a bowl berth will mean more than just pride, and they have proven themselves stronger against similar opponents.

Why Rutgers is Better than Them

There is not a dramatic difference between Maryland and Rutgers. Like the Scarlet Knights, they have had some severe beatdowns this season, and are hanging onto bowl hopes by a thread. The first two contests have been come-from-behind victories for the visiting team. Rutgers won in College Park in 2014 by overcoming a 25 point deficit, and last year Maryland overcame a 21 point deficit to win 46-41 at High Point Solutions Stadium. We will use history to say the away team will win for the third year in a row in the end-of-the-season contest.