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2021 Rutgers Football Game Preview #12 vs. Maryland

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The Scarlet Knights will host the Terrapins at SHI Stadium on Saturday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Rutgers at Penn State Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How To Watch, Stream & Listen

Maryland (5-6; 2-6) at Rutgers (5-6; 2-6)

Where: SHI Stadium, Piscataway, NJ

Kick-off: Saturday, November 27 at Noon ET

Weather: 42 degrees, Mostly sunny with an 1% chance of rain, 14 mph winds

TV: BTN with Cory Provus (play-by-play), Matt Millen (color), Krystal Rich (sideline)

BTN GameFinder

Stream: FOX Sports App

Radio: RWJBarnabas Health Rutgers Sports Network (WCTC 14-50-AM, WOR 710-AM, XM 390) with Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Eric LeGrand (analyst) and Anthony Fucilli (sideline); WRSU 88.7 FM - Doug Willig & Dylan McCoy

Current Spread: Maryland -1.5

Series History: Maryland leads 9-7, Rutgers defeated Maryland 27-24 in 2020

Maryland SB Nation Site: Testudo Times

Maryland Scouting Report

Statistical Leaders

Rutgers

Passing: Noah Vedral - 165-for-276, 59.8%, 1,681 yards, 7 touchdowns, 5 interceptions

Rushing: Isaih Pacheco - 561 yards on 152 carries, 3.7 ypc, 5 touchdowns

Receiving: Bo Melton - 51 catches for 570 yards, 10.9 ypc, 3 touchdowns

Defense: Olakunle Fatukasi - 81 tackles and 3.5 sacks, Max Melton - 3 interceptions

Maryland

Passing: Taulia Tagovailoa - 287-for-420, 68.3%, 3,283 yards, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions

Rushing: Tayon Fleet-Davis - 512 yards on 102 carries, 5.0 ypc, 6 touchdowns

Receiving: Rakim Jarrett - 49 catches for 658 yards, 12.4 ypc, 5 touchdowns

Defense: Jordan Mosley - 71 tackles, Sam Okuayinonu - 6 sacks, Nick Cross - 3 interceptions

What To Watch For

When Rutgers has the ball

It is no secret that the passing attack of Rutgers has been nonexistent this season. It has been unable to get anything going down field. If there is any game that it might work, it is against a struggling defense for Maryland.

The Scarlet Knights need to establish Isaih Pacheco early and often in this one. The Terrapins allow upwards of 160 yards on the ground this season. When Rutgers reaches that number, they are 2-1 on the season. This is the way to control the game and limit possessions for a Maryland offense that should put some points on the board.

It is hard to imagine that Rutgers will be able to put anything together through the air. Noah Vedral has been as inconsistent as ever this season, which is why we could see some more of Gavin Wimsatt this week. Greg Schiano and Sean Gleeson could find some ways to incorporate him into the offense to throw a bit of a wrinkle at Maryland.

There is no tomorrow after this game if it is a loss. Rutgers knows that it needs a win and should not be holding anything back. In order to get the passing game going, the Scarlet Knights might have to get creative.

When Maryland has the ball

Maryland is averaging over 300 passing yards per game this season and has totaled 350 or more in three straight games. Rutgers is prone to giving up big plays. This bodes well for the Terrapins.

While Rutgers might want to establish the run, Maryland will do the opposite with the way it throws the ball. Taulia Tagovailoa is currently second in passing yards in the Big Ten, behind only C.J. Stroud of Ohio State. This could be because Maryland has been trailing in games and has to abandon the run. Either way, Tagovailoa has found success.

The coaching staff has to know that Rutgers has given up a big play or two in what feels like every game this season. Well, at least Big Ten games. The Terps have struggled defensively but the offense should be able to score enough in this game to gain control. That is the overall goal right away.

The x-factor is if Maryland plays sloppy which they are prone to do. Penalties and turnovers could shift the game in Rutgers’ and allow them to play conservatively with a lead.

Maryland will try to come out and punch Rutgers in the mouth tomorrow. Whichever team gains the upper hand early will hold significant advantages.

Could Rutgers win this game?

There is no “could” or “should” when it comes to this game. Rutgers has to win if it wants to play in a bowl game this season. The likelihood of the Scarlet Knights being selected as a 5-7 team has gone down significantly. The Scarlet Knights will face another 5-6 team at home that they happened to beat in overtime last season. There cannot be much more to be asked for.

Final thoughts

Maryland needs this game just as bad as Rutgers. It come in as losers in six of seven games but have kept its head above water in terms of bowl qualification. This is a game to look forward to for both sides. For Rutgers, that is the most important part. The Scarlet Knights are playing a meaningful game in November. This is where the loss to Northwestern hurts even more though. With that being said, it can all be erased with a win on Saturday. As exciting as it is to play a game that matters late in the season, it would be a tough one to lose.