WEEK 8: Maryland Football travels to #19 rank Iowa looking for some national respect. Game Preview/Prediction & More
WHEN: Saturday Oct. 20 2018
WHERE: Kinnick Stadium Iowa City, Iowa.
TIME: 12 Noon ET
Maryland football has had plenty of ups and downs this season so far yet if you ask many Terrapin diehard fans if they’ll take a 4-2 record at the mid-point of this season with everything that has gone on off the field and you’ll be hard press to find anyone who wouldn’t take that.
The Terps have beaten the teams they were supposed to beat for the exception of Temple but also beat Texas as a win many probably had them losing before the season.
Again, I believe that Temple team could still end up being a very good team by seasons end which would make that loss look even more understandable.
I make that point to basically say a 4-2 record mid-way through the season with the type of schedule this team has faced and the obstacles off the field all in all this season has been a major success so far for Maryland football.
The Terps have been winning games with many young guys at key positions which can only bodes well for the future of the program.
Red shirt freshmen quarterback Kasim Hill has been making steady improvements at a position that Maryland has struggled in mightily going back to its ACC days.
Another red shirt freshman in running back Anthony McFarland is starting to show why getting him to stay home for college was so important for the program going forward.
McFarland’s explosiveness has been on full display all season while not playing that major of a role on the offense just yet due to senior Ty Johnson presence in the back field.
True freshmen Jeshaun Jones is going to be an exciting star in the Big ten conference for years to come.
His smoothness in and out of cut along with his great speed would make him a household name and a Terrapin legend.
There are plenty of these younger type guys up and down the 2-3 deep that are going to be starters for years to come.
At 4-2 and 2-1 conference record the Terps still have everything to play for.
Maryland is technically can still win the Big ten conference and a win this weekend at Iowa would not only improve those chances but also very possibly make them ranked when the next polls come out.
A win this weekend while it is going to be very tough and challenging for a Maryland program that hasn’t beaten any rank Big ten team on the road since joining the conference in 2014, going 0-15 with many of those being major blow outs losses.
The Terps have had plenty of road struggles after losing to Michigan just two weekends ago but a road game at a steadily improving Iowa team which would head into the game on a hot streak after winning their last 3 ball games since losing to Wisconsin Badgers.
A win would not only improve the Terps record to 5-2 and a chance to be just one win away from being bowl eligible but it would also keep them right in the conference title race with a 3-1 Big ten record.
WEEK 8: #BEATIOWA
Maryland would travel to Iowa City this weekend to do battle with the 19th rank Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa would head into the game after winning the last 3 ball games in impressive fashion.
A winning Iowa football team is not a surprise under Kirk Ferentz however how they’ve been moving the ball is.
Iowa comes into the game with basically a spread offense that looks to attack you deep down the field with their abundance of quality tight ends.
For a school that produces so many quality tight ends over the years under Ferents however none may be better than their current second leading receiver in junior tight end Noah Fant.
The guy is a 6’5 receiving nightmare for most defenses he faces.
Their leading receiver is also another tight end in 6’4 T.J Hockenson.
Iowa also possess one of the better quarterbacks in the entire conference in junior Nate Stanley.
Stanley is a big armed quarterback that’s shown the ability to make every throw so far this season.
Stanley also comes into Saturday’s game against the Terps on a very red-hot streak after having toss 14 touchdown passes over his last 4 games including crazy 6 passing touchdowns just last weekend on the road at Indiana.
To say the Maryland secondary has their hands full this week would be a major understatement as these Hawkeyes guys have been impressing on film thus far this season.
Like typical Iowa teams they are very strong up front on both sides of the ball.
Their defensive line may be arguably one of the very best in the entire Country so far this season with them constantly rotating as many as 7 guys on game to game basis.
While Iowa offense comes in hot their defense has been arguable their strongest and most consistent unit for them all season.
Their defense comes in ranked top 10 nationally in numerous defensive categories including overall defense and points allowed on defense.
Iowa is an impressive and good-looking football team that rarely ever loses at home, especially as home favorites under Ferentz.
These Hawkeyes are not your typical Hawkeyes of old as they are no longer looking to simply out muscle you with their running game but are now a majority passing attack type of offense under their new offensive coordinator.
Their defense is an aggressive style defense that’ll sell out to stop the run but can also go multiple to contain passing attacks.
Overall Iowa is one of the strongest teams left on the Terps schedule and a win here would surely send this season’s expectations through the roof.
IOWA IMPACT PLAYERS
#4 Nate Stanley QB
#87 Noah Fants TE
#28 Toren Young RB
#38 T.J. Hockenson TE
#27 Amani Hooker DB
#9 Geno Stone DB
#94 A.J. Epenesa DE
#40 Parker Hesse DE
Stanley comes in RED HOT and on the season, he’s completing 62.1% of his passes to go alone with 1473 passing yards and 15 passing touchdowns to just 5 interceptions.
Stanley has been sacked only 5 times all season and Iowa has only given up 6 total all season.
The Hawkeyes also lead the Big ten in 3rd down defense and stopping explosive plays.
They are big up front on both sides but especially at the defensive line positions.
WHY MARYLAND WILL WIN
Looking back at the Iowa schedule so far this season they really haven’t played anyone with nearly as fast and athletic as the team Maryland would trout out there come Saturday.
The one time the Hawkeyes face a team with any type of elite athletic ability at the skills positions they lost in a spanking at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers in week 4 of this season.
The Terps would have the clear athletic edge at the skills positions and if they get their guys to the edge and outside of what would be huge Iowa defensive line I can see Maryland having good amount of success.
Another area of optimism for Maryland is that Iowa has been starting a different set of linebackers for the better part of the season thus their cohesiveness would be greatly tested by a Maryland offense that does a great job of creating a great amount of confusion for opposing front 7’s especially linebackers.
One missed gap responsibility by one of these rotational guys could cost the Hawkeyes a huge play and a possible touchdown with the Terps speed.
I expect Iowa to try and scheme their defense this week around keeping our offense from getting to the outside of their defense where they simply do not have the foot speed to keep up with many of the Terps playmakers in space.
Another area the Terps should look to attack this Iowa team is their secondary which starts 2 true freshmen consistently.
Senior Taivon Jacobs should get a good match up this week and if the Terps quarterbacks come to play it could be a record setting day for the Terps senior wide receiver.
Another guy to keep a close eye on is true freshmen wide receiver Jeshaun Jones.
As mentioned earlier the kid simply may already have the best hands on the team and his speed should give a slower Iowa defend fits all day if and once given the opportunities he got during the week 1 upset of Texas.
DEFENSE TIME TO SHOW THEY FOR REAL
Another area I feel good about the Terps chances is in the Iowa passing attack.
The Hawkeyes haven’t played a secondary as aggressive and physical as the Terps secondary all season and it would be a major shock to those Hawkeye pass catchers at just how physical the Terps guys play on a down to down basis.
Iowa tight ends have gotten the better of every opponent with the exception of the Badgers however the Terps would present a formidable challenge for them.
Maryland linebacker Tre Watson is a ball hawk that loves when opposing teams try and attack him with tight ends and fellow senior leader Darnell Savage Jr leads the Big ten conference in interceptions coming into week 8 with 4.
Watson has 3 which is second on the team and leading all big ten linebackers.
Maryland defense has low key been one of the most improve defenses in all of College football this season.
Terps defensive line has gotten the better of 5 out of their 6 opponents so far this season with the exception being week 6 at Michigan.
Iowa offense line while being impressive so far hasn’t really been challenged besides the Badgers game.
Maryland have the strength and physicality up fronts to not only stuff the Hawkeyes running game but to get after their strong-armed quarterback as well in Nate Stanley.
Byron Cowart and Jesse Aniebonam are two of the better defensive linemen in the entire Big ten and I look forward to them getting in the Iowa back field and providing constant pressures.
Maryland cannot allow Stanley to stand clean in the pocket or else it would be over quickly.
Iowa’s strength on offense so far this season has been their passing attack while arguably the Terps best aspect on defense has been stopping the pass and causing turnovers.
It would be a battle of strengths and I got my money on the talented experienced Terrapin secondary.
With winds expected to be as high as 35 miles per hour in Iowa City come Saturday kickoff don’t be surprise if the Hawkeyes stray away from their normal game plan over their last few games and go into more of a ground and pound style in an attempt to out tough the Terrapin defense line and linebackers as Michigan did to us.
Winds that high normally favors the rushing teams which Maryland is so look for the Terps to instill a trick play or two this week as week.
This would be a great win for this program one that would surely have us rank next week.
The Terps defense is coming off a historic performance last week against Rutgers but that was Rutgers and that was at home.
Going on the road at #19 rank Iowa would be a major challenge but it one this Terps squad should have a good chance at winning as well.
KASIM HILL BREAKOUT WATCH
Iowa comes in sporting one of the best defenses in the entire Country and a stout defensive line.
Due to the strengths of the entire Maryland offense being mainly the rushing game look for Iowa to sell out to try and stuff the Terps running game.
It would be a bold strategy for anyone especially a team like Iowa that starts a pair of true freshmen in their secondary.
If the Maryland experience offensive line can keep a clean pocket in passing plays, Terps should have some good amount of success attacking that inexperience Hawkeyes secondary.
While Terps starting quarterbacks have had their struggles thus far this season Kasim has shown the ability to hit the big passing plays as of late.
Maryland would have enough chances to hurt the Hawkeyes through the air thus I expect Kasim Hill to have his best game yet in his young career.
Hill should be play to find easy one on one match ups on the outside all Saturday afternoon with Iowa guaranteed to sell out to stop our great running game.
A few huge completions would not only soften that Iowa defense but would also give the young receivers and quarterbacks major confident boost going forward.
Kasim Hill is due for a major breakout game where he throws for almost 300 yards and 3 or more touchdowns and I think this weekend’s game at Iowa would be just that for him.
Hopefully regardless of Hill’s stats the Terps would still find a way to pull out a huge road conference victory.
Maryland 24 Iowa 21
*Terps true freshmen kicker Paterno wins it as time expires. #GOTERPS