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Big 10 showdown here as Maryland will travel to the heartland to take on the Indiana Hoosiers. Maryland was in turmoil last week after a bizarre series of events unfolded where head coach D.J. Durkin was briefly re-instated before being fired again by the University after a public backlash. This is Maryland’s last real shot to get bowl eligible, and there are reasons to believe they might have some matchup advantages here….
Maryland Needs This Game
It’s been a tough year for Maryland. The entire season has been clouded by the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair and the resulting fallout. The team has been playing the year with an interim coach as normal coach D.J. Durkin awaited his fate. Shockingly, Durkin was reinstated by the board of regents last week.
An intense backlash followed, both from the general public as well as players on the team, with almost everyone aligned in opposition to Durkin. Eventually, the board reversed course, and Durkin was fired after just one day back on the job. Needless to say, it was a massive distraction and Maryland ended up losing that weekend to Michigan State 24-3.
Maryland has now had extra time to regroup, and players have been talking this week about how unified they are. Maryland got beat bad by Michigan State mostly because their running game was shutdown by MSU’s stout defensive front.
Last weekend, 70 people boarded a charter bus from Cumberland, Maryland, to watch Ty Johnson play against Rutgers.
The hometown hero rewarded them with 132 yards and a touchdown. pic.twitter.com/Nq4m5O8Ruy
— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) October 19, 2018
Indiana has a much worse rushing defense, and Maryland pretty much only runs the ball these days. They should have a field day on the ground, and could very well pull off the upset here. It’s somewhat of a must-win game for Maryland, as the Terrapins will likely need this game to get to six wins and be bowl eligible this season.
Indiana On A Slide
Indiana started the year off 3-0, but the wheels fell off after that. They’ve since lost five of six, and three of the losses have come by at least 14 points. Their only conference win was against bottom-feeding Rutgers, and even that came by only seven points. It looks like a down year for the Hoosiers, and they haven’t been very good on either side of the ball.
While the offense hasn’t been great either, the defense is the biggest problem. The defense has given up at least 33 points in four straight weeks and has struggled in both phases. The rushing defense gives up over 4.3 yards per carry, which could be a problem considering Maryland relies so heavily on their ground attack.
Indiana is still running the air-it-out style of offense that they have in years past, but don’t have the same personnel. Sophomore quarterback Peyton Ramsey is averaging only 6.28 yards per attempt, and has a very mediocre 15:10 touchdown to interception ratio. That should get even worse here, as Maryland has a passing defense currently ranked 14th in the country.
- 5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 conference games
- 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up loss
- 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games following a double-digit loss at home
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points
- 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I absolutely love Maryland here. I think they matchup very well with Indiana, and they’ll be extremely motivated to win this game. I think the team will band together in the wake of the Durkin debacle, and come out hot. This is a must-win game, and I think they’ll win this game in the trenches against Indiana’s inferior lines. Not only will Maryland cover this spread, they’ll easily win this game outright.
Prediction: Maryland +2
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the under quite a bit here. I think Maryland will succeed at what they’ll try to do, which is run the ball. That will kill a ton of clock, and not leave much time for Indiana to score. When Indiana does have the ball, they’ll struggle to move it against this elite Maryland secondary. This one should be a physical, very low scoring game.
Half-Time Side Pick
I love Maryland in the first half here. I think they’ll be looking to put all the negative headlines to rest, and start out strong here. They’ll be sending a message to Durkin and the world right from the opening whistle, and I think they’ll easily be leading at halftime.
Half-Time Total Bet
I like the first half under a lot here. Both teams will be looking to run the ball, and this should be a classic Big 10 grind it out type of game. It’ll be a hard fought slugfest, and there won’t be much scoring at all in the first half.