Maryland vs. Minnesota prediction and game preview. Both teams look to bounce back from losses when the Terrapins host the Golden Gophers.
Maryland vs. Minnesota Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 15 – Noon ET
Where: Maryland Stadium, College Park.
TV Broadcast: ESPNU
Maryland is coping with its first loss of the season, and dealing with health issues surrounding quarterback Perry Hills. The fifth-year senior hurt his shoulder on Sept. 17 against Central Florida and had to leave last week’s 38-14 loss to Penn State late in the first half, giving way to true freshman Tyrrell Pigrome. It looks as if Hills will be able to play this week, but one good hit easily could knock him out again.
The Golden Gophers simply hope their quarterback will make better decisions. Mitch Leidner finished just 13-of-33 while throwing two interceptions during Saturday’s 14-7 loss to Iowa. Minnesota dropped its second straight following a 3-0 start and is in danger of beginning 0-3 in Big Ten play for the first time since 2012.
What to Know About Maryland
First-year coach DJ Durkin has already helped the Terps surpass last year’s win total, but they were completely dismantled by Penn State. The offense was held to a season-worst 270 total yards, and committed two turnovers for the second straight week after not having any giveaways over its first three games.
Hills’ injury certainly didn’t help, but he was responsible for both of those turnovers before leaving. Durkin said Monday that he expects Hills to play against Minnesota.
The Terps will need to get things shored up on defense as well. Penn State finished with 524 yards, with an astounding 372 of them coming on the ground. The last time Maryland gave up that many rushing yards was 2011 – not a good look for the defensive-minded Durkin and his staff.
What to Know About Minnesota
Minnesota’s three-game run of at least 228 yards rushing came to an end Saturday after finishing with 102, a disappointing number considering Leidner’s day throwing the ball. It marked the third time he’s failed to throw a touchdown pass, and has only one while tossing four interceptions over his last three games.
The rough day offensively took away from the defense’s effort. The Gophers forced a season-high three turnovers and held Iowa to 321 yards. The biggest mistake came with 5:28 left in the game when they allowed their only touchdown, a 54-yard run that wiped away Minnesota’s one-point lead.
Offense: Maryland – Offensive coordinator Walt Bell is hoping to work his up-tempo scheme with Hills for a full game this week.
Defense: Even – The Terps are seventh in the Big Ten in average yards allowed per game, with the Gophers sitting eighth giving up 1.8 yards more per contest.
Special Teams: Minnesota – Emmit Carpenter is 9-for-9 on field goals, including five of at least 40 yards.
Coaching: Maryland – Durkin and Bell have Maryland on the upswing despite last week’s setback.
Intangibles: Even – This is the first meeting since the 1977 Hall of Fame Bowl that Maryland won, 17-7, and stands as the only matchup ever between the schools.
Matchup To Watch
Maryland’s running game vs. Minnesota’s defense
With Hills’ throwing shoulder banged up, the Terps could focus more on the ground game. They managed 170 yards on the ground last week after having 400 against Purdue. Four players received at least five carries and there could be even more handoffs this week.
Spread: Maryland -3
Over/Under: No line
Maryland vs. Minnesota Prediction
Hills gets the Terps’ offense back on track by throwing and running for a touchdown. Maryland picks off Leidner twice – including on the game’s final drive – to pull out a close win.
Maryland vs. Minnesota final score prediction: Maryland 31, Minnesota 27