Game Preview: #3 Maryland vs #4 Rutgers
Maryland’s Big Ten only schedule continues this week as the Terps will play a top-five opponent for the first time this season. Coming off of a huge 18-10 win in “The Rivalry”, Maryland now has their toughest task of the season so far, facing #4 Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights come into this week, also with a record of 3-0. Rutgers has absolutely dominated their past two games against Ohio State and Michigan, winning both by a score of 22-12. Week one Rutgers beat then #6 Penn State 11-9. Rutgers offense has been their key to success the last two weeks. Last week, the Scarlet Knights led the country in scoring, and the week before they were second in the country in scoring.
Rutgers on offense is led by their veteran attack line of Connor Kirst, Adam Charalambides and Kieran Mullins. The group as combined for 28 goals so far this season. Connor Kirst stated earlier in the week, “We have to keep being unselfish on offense and sharing the ball, keeping the ball moving well. We know we’ll have to bring it in all facets and play a full game on Saturday.”
Maryland however, might be the roadblock that can stop Rutgers. The Terps are led on defense by Senior Nick Grill who has become the first player in Big Ten history to win the conference defensive player of the week in three straight weeks. Grill has helped Maryland not allow more than 10 goals yet in their first three games for the first time since 2016. The Terps currently have the best defense in the Big Ten and the 15th best in the country. But if the Terps can’t stop Rutgers on defense, the game isn’t at all over. And that is because of how good the Maryland offense has been so far.
The Terrapins have the 5th best offense in the country coming into this week. The Terps just simply have too much talent and firepower for anyone to stop. There are so many stars on the offense that it is hard to say who they are led by because there are more than five names that could be picked. On attack, Jared Bernhardt has been as good if not better than we thought he would be so far this season, yet he doesn’t even lead the team in any statistical categories. Daniel Maltz leads the team in goals while Logan Wisnauskas leads the team in points. Rutgers’s defense is in no way bad, they’re the 2nd best in the Big Ten coming into this week. But I don’t see any way that they can stop the Terps.
I think that Maryland will just be too much to handle for Rutgers. The game should be closer than weeks past for the Terps but at the end of the day, I have them coming out on top 15-12. This week’s game will be broadcasted on BTN with a start time of 3pm. Pete Medhurst and Mark Dixon will be on the call. I’ll be there, livetweeting at @MDSportsblog. Make sure to follow along!