FACTS & STATS: Site: Byrd Stadium (51,802) — College Park, Maryland.
Television: ESPN 2. Home Record: Iowa 3-1, Maryland 1-2. Away Record: Iowa
2-0, Maryland 3-0. Neutral Record: Iowa 0-0, Maryland 0-0. Conference Record:
Iowa 2-0, Maryland 1-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Iowa Hawkeyes will try to become bowl eligible on Saturday
afternoon when they visit Byrd Stadium to take on first-year Big Ten
Conference foe Maryland.
At 5-1, Iowa needs just one more win to lock up bowl eligibility for the 13th
time in the last 14 seasons. The Hawkeyes are coming off last weekend’s 45-29
homecoming win over Indiana. Now it’s back to the road for the Hawkeyes, where
they have won four straight and six of seven overall.
Meanwhile, Maryland is 3-0 on the road this season but only 1-2 at home. The
Terrapins will be well rested as they had a bye last weekend. A week earlier,
they got roughed up on their home field by 13th-ranked Ohio State (52-24).
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams.
Iowa took it to Indiana right from the opening whistle last week. The Hawkeyes
put up 28 first-quarter points, their most since 2005, and their 45 points for
the game were their most in a Big Ten game since 2011. In fact, Iowa scored on
three straight offensive plays in the first quarter, with two of those
covering more than 60 yards. Running back Mark Weisman finished with 89 yards
and two touchdowns on 25 carries, while Jake Rudock threw for 210 yards and
two scores on 19-of-27 accuracy.
The Hawkeyes got 14 points off turnovers against Indiana: an interception
return for a touchdown by cornerback Desmond King and a rushing TD by Weisman
that was set up by linebacker Bo Bower’s interception. The defense has really
gotten the job done throughout the first half of the season, ranking 19th
nationally in scoring defense (19.2 ppg) and 26th in total defense (330.7
ypg). The Hawkeyes are allowing a conference-best 94.0 passing yards per game
in Big Ten play. They are also the league’s least penalized team (22
Dual-threat quarterback C.J. Brown is the focal point of Maryland’s offense.
He has thrown for 1,067 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions on
the season, and his 263 rushing yards are tops on the team. But while Brown
has the ability to make plays with both his arm and legs, he has not gotten a
whole lot of help from his supporting cast. Brown has shared snaps with Caleb
Rowe, and the two combined for four interceptions in the loss to Ohio State,
with Rowe throwing three. The running game was virtually nonexistent, with
Brandon Ross earning a team-best 38 yards and a score on only eight carries.
Four Maryland defenders finished with double-digit tackles against the
Buckeyes, led by Cole Farrand’s 17. Sean Davis and L.A. Goree each had 14
stops. However, OSU simply imposed its will, carving up the Terps defense for
269 rushing yards (5.1 ypc) and another 264 through the air. On the season,
Maryland is allowing 212.0 rushing yards per game, which ranks 13th in the Big
Ten. The Terps will have their hands full with an Iowa ground game that has
seen its rushing yards increase in five straight games, and is coming off a
season-best 207 rushing yards against the Hoosiers.
The Hawkeyes have been road warriors, while Maryland has struggled on its home
field this season. The Hawkeyes match up well in this one, but still they must
be careful to avoid a letdown coming off such a dazzling performance against a
Terps squad that has had two weeks to prepare.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Maryland 27, Iowa 23