It's no easy task to prepare for Bowling Green. As Alex Kirshner pointed out in his preview, the Falcons ran 82 plays per game last year and only needed 26 minutes of possession to run 85 plays against Tennessee last week. They racked up 557 yards of offense against a very good defense while playing on the road.
Maryland will have to stay disciplined on defense and they will definitely be tired. Bowling Green's frenetic pace means that Maryland will have trouble subbing players in. Conditioning will play a big factor in today's game.
It is important to make a distinction between Maryland and Tennessee. Tennessee has a much better defense and offensive line than Maryland does. They are a better overall team. The Vols ran for 399 yards against Bowling Green and were up 21-10 after the first quarter, 35-20 at the half, and 49-30 after three quarters.
That forced Bowling Green to get away from a balanced offensive attack and go to the air. They were shut-out in the fourth quarter but put up 10 points in each of the first three quarters. If Maryland can run the ball and sustain long scoring drives that end in touchdowns and not field goals, that will go a long way in helping the Terps win this game.
The defense has to be able to rest. If Maryland's defense can't get off the field on third downs and the offense can't convert on third downs, it is going to be a long day for the Terps. Tennessee was 9-16 on third down conversions against Bowling Green and Maryland went 7-12 against Richmond. Maryland has to keep those kinds of numbers in order to get some breathing room (pun intended).
Perry Hills will have to show Bowling Green that he can beat them with his arm because if he can't, the Falcons are going to stack the box and take away Maryland's run game. Maryland needs to get in the end zone a lot in order to win this game. The Maryland running game and third down conversions will be critical keys to victory.
I anticipate a shoot-out this afternoon. Get ready to see an exciting game where two teams put up a lot of points.
Rankings and records:
Bowling Green: 0-1 (0-0)
Maryland: 1-0 (0-0)
All-time record: This is the first all-time meeting between the two schools.
Vegas: Bowling Green is the underdog in this match-up. They are getting 7.5 points.
How to watch
September 12th, Noon (ET), College Park
TV: Big Ten Network (Joe Beninati on play by play and Scott McBrien as color commentator)
Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network - Johnny Holliday (Play-by-Play), Tim Strachan (Analyst), Steve Suter (Sideline); Flagships - WJZ-FM (105.7) / WJZ-AM (1300) / ESPN 980 (D.C.) Sirius Radio, XM 201, Sirius XM 201, WMUC Sports
Online streaming: BTN2Go