League : NCAAF

ILLINOIS vs MARYLAND Prediction & Preview



Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Maryland Terrapins make the short road trip to Memorial Stadium in Champagne to kick off against the Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday evening. The Terrapins (2-0) easily handled FCS Howard Bison 62-0 as heavy favorites last weekend to win their second straight. The Illini (1-2) were crushed by the Virginia Cavaliers as 10.5 point underdogs. Maryland makes its first-ever trip to Illinois for its Big Ten opener Friday.


Tagovailoa and the Terps Dominate Howard

Taulia Tagovailoa threw three touchdown passes as Maryland hammered Howard 62-0 on Saturday night. Dontay Demus Jr. had six receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown for the Terrapins (2-0), who had little trouble following up their 30-24 defeat of West Virginia with another victory. Demus caught a touchdown in his sixth consecutive game, and he is the first Maryland player with consecutive 100-yard receiving games since Stefon Diggs in 2013. Maryland outgained the Bison, 574-146. Howard (0-2), an FCS program, was 0 of 11 on third-down attempts and looked lifeless all afternoon.




The scoreboard looked good for Maryland, but Coach Mike Locksley still was irked over a few developments. ''These things are so irritating, to have neutral-zone infractions and personal fouls,'' Locksley said to Associated Press reporters after the game. ''I've had it up to here with those types of penalties.'' The Terps were flagged six times for 55 yards in the blowout. They will have to clean that up facing a much better opponent in the Illini on Thursday.


Illini Falter Against Virginia

Illinois allowed a touchdown to the Cavaliers on their first two drives as they fell behind early in a 42-14 loss as 10.5 point underdogs last weekend. The Illini's season-opening win over Nebraska feels like a distant thing of the past. Coach Brett Bielema's team struggled on offense and defense with a middle-of-the-pack ACC team.''Obviously, to start the game the way we did defensively, giving up two big scores, we battled ourselves back into it,'' Illinois coach Bielema said to AP reporters after the game. ''Obviously, we did not hold them defensively. We had a few things go against us but the reactions were good, so, we've got a lot of work to do.''


The Illini play their second Big Ten game when hosting Maryland on Friday, and they will need a much better performance from quarterback Artur Sitkowski. The youngster finished 24/45 with 221 yards along with one interception. Illinois failed to score any points on 12 of 14 possessions against Virginia and will have to keep the pace against Tagovailoa and the Terps who dropped 62 points last weekend.

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