The Maryland Terrapins and the Northwestern Wildcats prepare to square off for their season opener on Saturday night. At the end of the last season, the Terrapins were second within the Big Ten East, with a 1-8 conference record and a 3-9 overall record. On the other side of the Big Ten, the Wildcats were 1-8 within the Big Ten West and had a 3-9 record overall.
The last time these teams faced off was back in October of 2017. In that game, the Wildcats came up with a 37-21 victory over the Terrapins.
Maryland Looks To Start 2020 Better Than 2019 EndedThe Terrapins enter the 2020 season on a seven-game losing streak. They haven’t picked up a win in over a year, and the last time they were able to string together two wins was at the beginning of last season. This sort of performance has become routine for the Terrapins, though. They haven’t managed to pull themselves higher than the fourth in the conference since 2014, where they were able to secure the number three spot in the conference. 2019’s conference record is tied for the worst in the team’s history within the Big Ten East.
Last season, Maryland had the 17th lowest passing yards in the nation at just 174 yards per game. They only fared slightly better in their total yards per game, with their 343.4 yards making them the 22nd worst in the nation. This season, it’s unknown who will get the starting quarterback job. Josh Jackson started nine games for Maryland last season but has opted out of the 2020 season. Sophomore Taulia Tagovailoa, a transfer from Alabama and younger brother of Tua, threw only twelve passes in his freshman year and completed nine of them. The other option is Lance LeGendre, who had even less time on the field last year with three passes and only one completion. Head coach Mike Locksley has reported that he will be keeping his choice of starter under wraps.
Northwestern Hopes For Rebound After Worst Season In Over A DecadePat Fitzgerald has had a 14-year run as the Wildcats’ head coach. In that time, he’s led the team to nine bowl games and had four of those result in victories for his team. In 2018, they were the best team in the conference for the first time in his tenure as head coach. Then, in 2019, Northwest went on to have the worst season since Fitzgerald took control of the team in 2006. The Wildcats had some miserable stats during the season. They were the eighth-worst in the country in total offensive yards (297.1), the fifth-worst in passing yards (117.0), and the fifth-worst in points scored per game at just 16.3. Defensively, they held up better. Since 2015, the team has been 18th in the nation in defensive efficiency.
The Wildcats have a much-needed boost to their passing game this season. After finishing last in passing yards within the Big Ten conference in 2019, they’ve picked up a new quarterback to assist them. Peyton Ramsey, a transfer from Indiana, will be joining Northwestern for his senior year. Last season, Ramsey had 2,454 total passing yards and a 68% completion percentage. He had 13 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns across 252 rushing yards. He’ll be working under new offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian, who will hopefully provide some much-needed guidance to the struggling Wildcats offense.
- The Wildcats are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 games in October.
- The Terps are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- The Terps are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games.
- The Terps are 1-6 ATS last 7 as a road dog.