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Maryland football’s bye week sets up Big Ten opener vs. Purdue

Our weekly outlook on the Maryland football program.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland football program is well-positioned to go 4-0. All the Terps have to do is beat Purdue, which looks like the worst team in the Big Ten in 2016.

Maryland is coming off a bye week after beating UCF in double overtime, while the Boilermakers enter College Park after a 24-14 win over Nevada in Week 4. As far as Big Ten openers and homecoming games go, this is about as good a situation as the Terps could be in.

Maryland vs. Purdue - What we’re looking for

  1. 4-0. It might not be pretty, but the Terps need this win if they want to get to a bowl game. It’s only going to get harder from here on out. Maryland has the talent advantage on both offense and defense, and Purdue is less than good on special teams. The Terps have a chance to win on homecoming after tough matchups against Iowa, Michigan State and Clemson in the past three years. This really should be a victory for Maryland. It should be.
  2. Turnovers. Purdue quarterback David Blough has thrown seven interceptions in four games so far, it could be a big day for Will Likely, JC Jackson and the Terps’ secondary, which only has two picks so far. On the other side, Maryland still hasn’t turned the ball over in 2016. It’ll happen eventually, and Purdue could be the team that finally gets a takeaway against the Terps. If it happens, that is probably fine.
  3. Maryland will start a quarterback, but we’re not sure who it will be. Perry Hills was "day-to-day" with the shoulder injury he suffered against UCF when DJ Durkin spoke to the media last week, and there hasn’t been any update since then. We might find out more on Tuesday at Durkin’s weekly press conference, but Hills will not be made available to the media this week, so the team could end up pretty tight-lipped on his status. If he can’t go, freshman Tyrrell Pigrome, who had the game-winning touchdown run against UCF, figures to get the start.