#156 University of Maryland, College Park Terrapinsvs.#155 Purdue University Boilermakers
Written by Benjamin Hayes
When and Where: Saturday, Oct. 1, Maryland Stadium, College Park, Md., 3:30pmET
Line: Maryland -10
A well-rested Maryland team faces Purdue, who is off to a 2-1 start, after beating Nevada last Saturday, 24-14. Maryland is coming off a 30-24 overtime win against UCF on Sept. 17. In that game, they lost senior quarterback Perry Hills to an undisclosed injury and he’s considered questionable for this game.
Wins over Nevada and Eastern Kentucky doesn’t mean Purdue is ready to contend with Wisconsin and Nebraska in the Big 10 West. But it’s a start for a team that won just two games last season. The key has been the play of quarterback David Blough. The sophomore completed 21 of 30 for 300 yards with two touchdowns and one pick in Purdue’s win over Nevada. The bad news is that Purdue got behind 14-3 midway through the second quarter and had to come back to score 21 unanswered points to win. Sophomore running back Markell Jones rushed for 123 yards and had the key go-ahead touchdown to win.
Purdue’s offense has shown nice balance in the first three games as they are averaging 494 yards per game (26th), including 317.3 ypg in the air. They still have some worked to do defensively as they are allowing 387.7 yards per game (68th) and 219 passing yards per game (58th).
Like most college football teams, Maryland has been very vague about the injury situation with their starting quarterback Perry Hills. On Sept. 17, the Terps found a way to beat UCF in overtime, 30-24 on the road. That meant new coach D.J. Durkin improved his record to 3-0, which included beating two Florida teams in a row on the road (beat FIU 41-14 on Sept. 9). The Terps could not hold onto a lead against Central Florida as they were up 17-14 in the third quarter and 24-17 in the first overtime. But in the second overtime, Hills had to come out of the game due to a “shoulder injury”. Freshman Tyrell Pigrome came in the game and on 2nd and 9, ran for a 24-yard touchdown for the game-winner. That came after UCF had the ball to start the second overtime, but quarterback McKenzie Milton turned the ball over after a sack and fumble.
That’s the one thing Maryland hasn’t done and that’s turn the ball over as the Terps haven’t lost a fumble or had an interception in their first three games. Their strength right now is running the football as they rank 11th in the nation with 266.7 yards per game on the ground. What they haven’t done a great job is stopping the run (155.3ypg) and that could come back to haunt them later.
Hills really struggled against UCF, completing just 10 of 23, and rushed for just 29 yards on 16 carries. He’s more of a physical runner, while Pigrome has more speed. But if Pigrom goes, he’s only thrown eight passes so the Boilermakers will be all over his ability to run. Purdue should cover this one on the road.
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Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!