Maryland can become bowl-eligible if they defeat 4-5 Indiana from Bloomington on Saturday. The Terps struggled in a 24-3 home loss to Michigan State last week, while Indiana was off. The Hoosiers have lost four straight games and have not played since losing at Minnesota, 38-31 on Oct. 26. Last season, the Terps edged IU, 42-39 at home.
Terps need one more win
If Maryland went to a bowl game with all that has happened to them this season after the Jordan McNair death in June, they should give interim (now coaching the rest of the season) head coach Matt Canada a few Big 10 Coach of the Year votes. Canada, who also calls the plays, has not been able to get his offense in gear against the better teams in the conference. They were shut out at Iowa (23-0), dominated at Michigan (42-21) and last week, couldn’t move the ball at home against Michigan State.
But Canada has had his team perform well against the lower-tiered teams of the league. They’ve combined to outscore Minnesota, Rutgers and Illinois, 139-53. The defense has overachieved this season as they have 16 interceptions, including two against Michigan State on Saturday.
"Intercepted by Maryland!"
— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) November 6, 2018
The offense is the issue and it’s painfully obvious that they can’t beat great defenses. Michigan State brought the nation’s top rushing defense to Maryland Stadium and held the Terps to just 100 total yards, nine first downs and 26 rushing yards on 29 carries. It didn’t help that the Terps were playing without leading rushing Ty Johnson, who is questionable for the Indiana game with a calf injury. The Terps have also missed one of their top receivers in D.J. Turner, who has missed three straight games with an unspecified injury.
But it all comes back to redshirt freshman quarterback Kasim Hill, who is completing just 50.6 percent of his passes for 1,040 yards with nine TDs and three picks. He also does not give them much of a rushing threat (-29 yards).
The Terps average 221.8 rushing yards per game and 125 passing yards. On defense, they are allowing just 164.8 rushing yards and 175 passing yards per game.
It’s basketball season!
Kentucky fans used to exclaim the same thing every year around this time. But they have a top-25 team and Indiana has a squad that has lost five of six games. Their only win in the Big 10 was over Rutgers, but in the last two weeks, the Hoosiers have shown signs of making strides. They lost to Penn State, 33-28 on Oct. 20 and actually led in the third quarter.
But in their loss to Minnesota by seven, the IU defense gave up 482 yards, including 302 in the air. Quarterback Peyton Ramsey completed 29 of 44 for 232 yards with two TDs but also had two picks. He also had 57 rushing yards but in this sloppy game, the Hoosiers turned it over three times and the Golden Gophers committed four giveaways. Indiana showed some gumption in coming back from a 31-9 deficit or at least making it close but the game was not as close as the score indicated.
Ramsey is having a decent year with 2,092 passing yards, 15 TDs and 10 picks, but also has 241 rushing yards with three scores. Running back Stevie Scott is having a banner season with 791 yards and seven TDs (5.0ypc).
Defensively, they are allowing 399.6 yards per game, including 237.6 in the air. They are giving up just 162 rushing yards, which is actually less than the Terps. That’s a good sign going up against a Maryland offense that can only run the ball.
- 1-8 ATS last 9 after a SU loss.
- 1-4 ATS last 5 in November.
- 1-5 ATS last 6 after a bye week.
- 5-16-1 ATS last 22 conference games.
- 4-0 ATS last 4 after an ATS loss.
- 5-0 ATS last 5 after a SU loss of more than 20 points.
- 13-3 ATS last 16 after a DD loss at home.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Maryland still has to face Penn State and Ohio State so realistically this is their last chance to reach six wins. Indiana still has Michigan on the road and a tough Purdue team at home. In other words, they are basically playing for pride at this point. The Terps have given their all, especially on the defensive end. There were less distractions this week, no major announcement or coaching change so I expect Maryland to come out and dominate this game. The defense will come up big and they’ll run enough jet sweeps to get the job done on offense.
Prediction: Maryland +2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Last year’s game featured 81 points but I don’t expect that many points on Saturday. What I do expect is Maryland to go back to what they’ve done against the lesser teams in the Big 10 and that’s average 46.3 points. Indiana put up 28 against Penn State, 21 against Michigan State and 26 against Ohio State so you know they are capable of scoring points. They are also 8-1 Over after a bye week and 4-0 Over their last 4 games.
Half-Time Side Pick
Are the Terps ready to go bowling? They need to get off to a good start and it appears that Ty Johnson is coming back from an injury. That helps the running game and he’s an excellent kick returner.
Prediction: Maryland +1/2
Half-Time Total Bet
Indiana is not good defensively but Maryland is predictable. They won’t stop them but slow them down. The cold weather will likely make this a low-scoring first half.
Prediction: Under 28.5