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Maryland football: Three predictions for Maryland vs. Syracuse

Three predictions for Maryland as they travel to the Carrier Dome to take on Syracuse in their second road game of the season.

Joe Robbins

Maryland travels to New York today to take on former bitter ACC rival Syracuse. What can we expect in this game?

Special teams will keep Maryland in the game

This has been a reoccurring them so far this season and as long as they continue to be Maryland's most consistent unit, I'm going to continue to say they'll have a big role in the game. Whether it's another Will Likely punt return for a touchdown, a big, dazzling kickoff return by Stefon Diggs, more money kicks from Brad Craddock, or a blocked punt or field goal, the special teams unit this season has been amazing for Maryland. Just think about where they'd be without the big plays from this group. Expect more of the same today against Syracuse.

The offense will play better in their second road game, but will still struggle

After putting up just 317 total yards of offense and turning the ball over six times in their first road game of the season against USF, it's not exactly a bold prediction to think Maryland will do better on offense in their second road game this year. While the offense certainly played better against West Virginia, several issues still remain, especially when it comes to the play of the offensive line. With Syracuse's ability to get to the quarterback and Maryland's struggle running the ball outside of quarterback C.J. Brown, it could spell trouble for Maryland.

Backup quarterback Caleb Rowe will see the field

Between Syracuse's ability to sack the quarterback and following head coach Randy Edsall's comments yesterday that he'd be comfortable playing him, backup quarterback Caleb Rowe will at some point get into the game against the Orange, even if it's briefly.

Syracuse has done a great job this season with pressuring and sacking the opposition's quarterback. They also love to blitz, forcing opposing quarterbacks to make quick throws or risk getting sacked. If C.J. takes a big hit or continues to struggle with getting the ball out quickly to his receivers, Rowe could step in and potentially open up the passing game for Maryland. In his brief action against WVU, Rowe's passes definitely came out of his hands faster than C.J.'s. If Rowe is able to get the ball downfield, it could potentially force Syracuse to not load up the box and would then allow Maryland's running game to open up as well.