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Maryland vs. Stanford Foster Farms Bowl stats preview

Stanford is a tough, workman like opponent. The Terps will face a difficult challenge in San Francisco.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland has had a month to digest their collapse against Rutgers.  Despite the Rutgers loss, or perhaps because of it, the Terps are headed to San Francisco to face the Stanford Cardinal.  Stanford also enters with a 7-5 record, but dismantled ninth ranked UCLA to end their season.  The Terps will have their hands full with this matchup, so let's take a look.

Maryland Offense vs. Stanford Defense (all statistics are per game)

Points

Total Yards

3rd down conversions

Time of possession

Passing yards

Completion Percentage

Rushing yards

Turnovers

Maryland Offense

29.1

352.1

32%

27:16

221.5

54.5%

130.6

1.75

Stanford Defense

16

287.4

36%

28:12

175.7

57%

111.8

1.25

Maryland has struggled against talented defenses.  Against the top five defenses in the Big Ten, the Terps averaged 17.8 points per game - right around Stanford's opponent average.  Stanford's defense ranks second nationally in scoring defense and fourth nationally in total defense.  The defensive stats racked up by Stanford are all the more impressive considering the conference they play in.  The Pac 12 boasts nine teams that score 30+ points per game, and every team averages more than 25 points per game.  The Cardinal defense held conference opponents to under 20 points per game, on average. That defense does not really have any weaknesses to exploit.

The good news for Maryland's offense is the return of Stefon Diggs.  Additionally, C.J. Brown played better toward the end of the season showing better accuracy and more poise.  The Terps' leading receiver may be playing his last game, and will need to have a big impact for Maryland to put points on the board.

Maryland Defense vs. Stanford Offense

Points

Total Yards

3rd down conversions

Time of possession

Passing yards

Completion percentage

Rushing yards

Turnovers per game

Stanford

Offense

25.7

386.5

41%

31:48

231.7

64.7%

154.8

1.66

Maryland  Defense

28.9

438.1

39%

32:39

236.5

54.6%

201.6

1.75

Stanford's offense is not flashy, just consistent and solid.  However, the Cardinal will be without their leading receiver, Ty Montgomery.  The senior has caught nearly double the amount of passes as the second leading receiver, tight end Austin Hooper.

Stanford is the kind of team that has given Maryland's defense fits this season.  The Cardinal runs the ball 55% of the time, averaging 4.3 yards per carry.  Stanford's offensive line is effective in pass protection as well, surrendering only 22 on the season - the fewest in the Pac 12.  The Cardinal offense is not very explosive though, as their longest pass of the season is 52 yards, and longest run is 44 yards.

The key for Maryland's defense may be whether Ty Montgomery can play.  If Montgomery is out, or he is ineffective, the Terps will be better able to combat the Cardinal attack.

Special Teams

Field goals (long)

Field goal conversion %

Punts per game (net)

Penalties per game (YPG)

Return Yards (Punt/KO)

Maryland

18/19 (57)

94.7%

6.6 (35.3)

6 (53.2)

12.7 / 24

Stanford

14/20 (51)

70%

4.75 (33.8)

6 (51.9)

18.3 / 22.3

Maryland has the undisputed advantage at place kicker, thanks to Brad Craddock.  Both teams feature talented return men though.  Ty Montgomery is the joker on special teams for Stanford.  The senior has returned two punts for touchdowns, and is averaging 19.8 yards per return -- but he'll be out for this one.  On kickoffs Montgomery averages 25.2 per attempt with a long of 62 yards.  Will Likely is great in the open field, but Montgomery's stats are a little better.

Conclusion

The Foster Farms bowl is a matchup nightmare for Maryland.  The Terps have struggled against top defenses this season, and Stanford might be the best they have faced thus far.  Additionally, Stanford is only 15 miles from Levi's Stadium, so the crowd should be decidedly partisan.  I think the Terps will finish with another frustrating bowl loss - Stanford 24, Maryland 13.

Sources: umterps.com; gostanford.com