Michigan State visit a weary Maryland with a bowl berth at stake
Kickoff is 12 Noon at Maryland Stadium in College Park Maryland. It will be the annual black out game for Maryland.
HOW WOULD THE TERPS RESPOND/BLOCK THE NOISE
With the recent reinstatement and firing of now former head coach DJ Durkin all within 24 hours of each other, it’s fair to question whether or not the players are emotionally prepared to face a good Michigan State bunch.
The entire campus has gone into hysteria ever since the announcements with many supporting the move to fire the embattled coach and some still waiting for more movements with the resignations of school president Wallace Loh and school AD Demon Evans as they feel it will be the only way for the school to totally move on from all the mess.
The death of Jordan McNair has overshadowed the countless great things being done by the team on the field with all the distractions the situation has brought about it really amazing the team has gotten to a 5-3 record at this junction of their season with 4 games to play.
Matt Canada is now the permanent head coach moving forward until at least after the season when the school would be looking to name a new coach after a national search, for the time being it Matt Canada’s job to lose.
Canada has done great things up to this point as interim coach but must now be able to guard this roster and team to a possible bowl berth while showing togetherness.
The team has stayed together for the most part refusing to panic or allowing outside forces as the media to dictate how they go about their preparation for games.
These players bound and resilience would be greatly tested for the remainder of the season and into the off season.
If these guys can all stay together I can see a Big ten championship in College Park within 3 seasons, that is how much youth talent Maryland have on the roster and on their 2 deep especially.
NO FAKE LOVE/KEEP THAT SAME ENERGY
With the #JusticeForJordan rally raking place yesterday on campus, I saw many alumni’s and current student banding together for a great cause in an attempt to show school unite and support for the players who spoke out against keeping DJ Durkin.
Many in attendance were very out spoken about the lack of leadership at the very top of the school and its board of regents, with many calling for their resignations.
However, what cannot be lost in all this is that this is the most school pride I’ve seen on campus for anything Maryland Football for long over a decade.
I’m hopeful all the faces I saw yesterday evening can actually show up to the games on Saturdays and actually you know “SUPPORT THE PLAYERS”.
Maryland has not sold out a big ten game in 4 seasons going back to 2014 and for the amount of success this team has had this season one would expect the fan attendance to pick up but the stadium has been mostly empty on game days.
If the well over 800 people that showed up yesterday for the rally can have that same energy for the games, Maryland stadium would become the nightmare it once was for opponents.
I saw all these national media outlets claiming to care for the program and the players but NONE have ever showed up to games to actually show their support.
The kids have been sticking together and fighting all season for the school it’ll be dam nice for once to see a JAM-PACKED Maryland Stadium come Saturday afternoon against the Michigan State Spartans.
Based on some of the players posts on twitter I guessing the also feel the same way, don’t show fake love by being fake outraged but rather come show REAL love by showing your butts on game days and cheering for the team on the stands.
MICHIGAN STATE DEALING WITH INJURY BUG
Michigan State Spartans would come into College Park looking to win back to back games for the first time in over a month.
The Spartans and the Terps have played very competitive games since the Terps joined the conference with State holding a 4-2 edge in the series.
If there is one team Maryland has consistently been able to remain competitive against over the years that would be Michigan State.
Since their first conference encounter in 2014, the biggest margin of victory for State has been only 14 points with Maryland blowing them out once in College Park in between.
The Terps have matched up well against the Spartans and Saturday they could knock them off and gain bowl eligibility in the process. State comes in like Maryland at 5-3 and 3-2 conference record.
Both teams would be leaving it all out there as a win for either side would allow them to gain bowl eligibility.
For Maryland becoming bowl eligible this season after all the off the field stuff would be truly remarkable and a true testament to these kids/players characters.
The Spartans come into College Park beat up and suffering many injuries to their key guys.
They’ll be without their starting quarterback and leading receiver on Saturday.
Lewarke their quarterback is a dual threat kid but he’s currently dealing with injuries thus expect freshmen quarterback Rocky Lombardi to get the second start of his career in as many weeks.
All Lombardi did last week was threw for over 318 yards in a home victory against a very good Purdue defense and team.
In watching the film against Purdue, I saw a dual threat kid that has a strong arm.
The Terps front 7 would have their hands full this week as well as any week in the big ten stopping the Spartans rushing attack, led by running back LJ Scott.
Maryland did a great job of shutting down Scott in last year’s meeting in Michigan thus look for the similar game plans from Maryland in stopping the run and forcing State young quarterback to try and find holes in their pass defense that has been the team strength all season long.
With play makers like Seniors Darnell Savage Jr and Tre Watson, the Terps have more than enough talent to cause many issues for that Spartans offense.
State biggest weaknesses are their offensive line and their lack of running game.
If Maryland front 7 holds up then I expect the Terps secondary to feast on the young inexperience quarterback getting just his second start and his first big road game in the conference.
NO RUNNING ON STATE TERPS HAVE TO THROW
It seems like every weekend, Maryland goes up against a top ranked Big ten defense.
Michigan State and their #1 ranked run defense is no exception.
In a league full of outstanding run defenses like Michigan and Iowa, State’s has proven to be the best by a long shot.
Coming into Saturday’s match up State has only given up 77 yards on the ground by game, which is over 10 yards better than the next best team.
Their defensive line is big and strong ad they do a great job of scheming to free up their best guys to make one on one plays.
Maryland rush offense struggled mightily when they faced good rush defenses and for a team that relied 65% of their offense through the ground attack something has to give Saturday afternoon.
When Maryland has been able to run the ball, teams have been getting ran out of the Stadiums.
Terps have too much and once all that speed get into space it’ll be dooms day for any opponent.
Look for Michigan State to crowd the line of scrimmages in similar manner as Iowa and Michigan did to us.
Kasim Hill accuracy passing the ball would be paramount this week.
Hill is coming off his best statistical game however that was against a porous Illinois defense, Spartans would provide a far more formidable challenge.
Look for Matt Canada to open the offense a bit more in a fashion we saw last weekend.
Go to 4 wide outs sets and spread this injury depleted Spartans defense out.
Maryland only way to success is to make this a track meet not a physical battle.
With all that’s gone on this week up to now, one can only hope the players are well prepared for what would be a hungry and well coached Michigan State team as they always are under Mark D’Antonio.
It’s been a crazy distraction filled week but this team hasn’t folded all season NO WAY they start to now with just ONE win away from bowl eligibility.
If this game was a road game with all that’s gone on then I would’ve been far more incline to say the kids wouldn’t show up and expect them to have their asses handed to them.
However, that is not the case, this is a home game and a black out game.
This is the type of game that if everyone shows up that’s been voicing their opinions and feelings about the program this week then I expect a decently packed Maryland Stadium cheering on for their Terps.
If the fans show up the kids will as well.
State 24 Maryland 35
*****Stay together Maryland, we cannot allow the lawyer Murphy to ruin our school’s image in the name of sabotaged and extortion. At this point just pay off the McNairs and salvage the school image. McNair family just want their money and would TEAR down the entire school to do so. #GOTERPS