FACTS & STATS: Site: Camp Randall Stadium (80,321) — Madison, Wisconsin.
Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Maryland 2-2, Wisconsin 4-0. Away
Record: Maryland 3-0, Wisconsin 0-1. Neutral Record: Maryland 0-0, Wisconsin
0-1. Conference Record: Maryland 2-1, Wisconsin 1-1. Series Record: First-ever
GAME NOTES: The Maryland Terrapins take aim at bowl eligibility on Saturday
afternoon when they pay a visit to Camp Randall Stadium for their first-ever
Big Ten Conference clash with the Wisconsin Badgers.
Maryland rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Iowa at home last week,
38-31. That victory was the team’s third in the last four games, with the lone
loss in that span coming against nationally-ranked Ohio State. The Terrapins
have been road warriors, as they enter this tilt seeking their sixth straight
road win dating back to last year.
However, that will not come easily against a well-rested Wisconsin team that
was idle last week. The Badgers are also a perfect 4-0 at home this season.
They took down Illinois by a 38-28 final in Madison prior to the bye.
This tilt marks the first-ever meeting between these programs, as Maryland is
in its first season as a member of the Big Ten.
Maryland’s offense has put up 24 points or more in seven straight games, a
school record to start a season. The Terps are fourth in the conference in
scoring with an average of 35.1 ppg, which is also their best scoring average
Dual-threat quarterback C.J. Brown has been a big catalyst. He ran for 99
yards against Iowa as he came up one yard short of his ninth career 100-yard
rushing game. Running back Wes Brown punched in two rushing TDs in the win,
while Stefon Diggs finished with nine catches for a season-high 130 yards and
a score. It marked the third 100-yard receiving effort of the season for
Defensive back William Likely returned an interception 45 yards for a
touchdown against Iowa to give the Terps a 10-point lead in the fourth
quarter. It was the second pick Likely returned for a score this season, and
it proved to be a critical one as the Hawkeyes scored 10 points in the final
three minutes to make it a one-possession game. On the season, Maryland is
tied for third in the Big Ten with 14 takeaways.
The ground game has long been a staple of Wisconsin’s offense, and this year
is no different with Melvin Gordon leading the nation in rushing with 174.3
yards per game and a ridiculous 7.9 yards per carry average. In fact, his per-
game average is better than 70 of the 125 teams in the FBS. Gordon also leads
the nation in scoring with 14 total touchdowns.
The redshirt junior has averaged 217 rushing yards over the last four games
after going for 175 and four TDs against Illinois. Teammate Corey Clement also
ran for 164 yards and a score against the Fighting Illini, as the Badgers
totaled 401 yards and an average of 8.5 ypc on the ground. Wisconsin’s team
averages of 343.0 rushing yards per game and 7.38 yards per attempt are both
tops in the country.
Of course, the Badgers can also play some defense. They rank 10th nationally
in scoring defense (17.7 ppg) and also sit in the top-25 in total yards
(seventh – 286.0 ypg), rushing yards (22nd – 116.8 ypg) and passing yards
allowed (eight – 169.2 ypg). They are one of only seven teams to rank in the
top-25 of all four major defensive categories. The Badgers racked up six sacks
in the win over Illinois.
The Terps have certainly held their own in their inaugural season in the Big
Ten. But this will be their toughest road test to date, going up against a
Wisconsin squad that has yet to lose in Madison this season and will be
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wisconsin 45, Maryland 24