Saturday's game against Wisconsin in Madison, WI, will arguably be Maryland's hardest road game to date. With 80,000 people screaming for the Badgers, Maryland is going to have to play mistake-free football in order to have an opportunity to win.
With that in mind, here are three predictions for Saturday's game against the Badgers:
Melvin Gordon will do well, but won't dominate
Melvin Gordon is a very, very, very good running back. Wisconsin is averaging almost eight yards per carry. Maryland, at times, hasn't been great at stopping teams from putting up some major yardage. So what will happen Saturday, on the road?
When Maryland faced Indiana on the road a few weeks ago, I thought Tevin Coleman was going to have a field day against the Terps. But Maryland held him to just 122 yards. Can they do that again against Gordon? Probably not as well as they did against Indiana. The Badgers not only have a great back in Gordon, but they also have a great, physical offensive line.
Maryland's defense will slow down Gordon and prevent him from having a huge day. What does that mean? He'll get over 100 yards and score at least one touchdown, but won't completely dominate the Terps' run defense.
Will Likely will make a B1G play
Yeah, this prediction is probably getting old, but since it 's so often true, it's hard to avoid it. That's why I think whether it's on defense or in the punt return game, Likely will make a huge play for the Terps against the Badgers. The sophomore corner has come up with big play after big play all season for Maryland and Saturday will be no different. And with Wisconsin using a two quarterback system, when they do actually throw the ball, expect Likely to capitalize on a mistake by one of the Badgers' signal callers.
Likely is always dangerous in the punt return game as well, where Wisconsin is allowing an average of 14.5 yards per return. That ranks 118th of the 125 FBS schools. While the Badgers have yet to allow a punt return TD, Likely should have a great opportunity to have solid returns on Saturday.
Stefon Diggs will find the endzone
Maryland has been doing a lot lately to get the ball into the hands of junior wide receiver Stefon Diggs'. They've called more designed running for him, gotten him the ball on screens and let him go to work, and found him open down the field. The more often the ball ends up in his hands, the more likely he'll be able to find his way into the endzone against Wisconsin.
Diggs just has this ability to make plays and find the endzone. As long as C.J. Brown is able to get the ball into Diggs' hands often, either via run or pass, Maryland should see reap the benefits in the form of a touchdown (or two).
What are your predictions for the game? Who do you think wins? Does Maryland have a shot?