The Maryland football team is basking in success after its 52-13 pummeling of Howard this weekend. On Friday, these Terps have to play their first game against an FBS opponent, as they travel to Miami to face Florida International.
Maryland dominated Howard from the start, getting out to a 45-0 lead and ultimately winning 52-13. Howard was simply not a fair match for the Terps. Maryland got exactly what it wanted — and paid $325,00 for — an easy win to start the season. This week, we’ll get a better idea of what this team is. FIU isn’t exactly a gimme, but the Terps are favored and should win.
Maryland vs. Howard - what we saw
- A solid passing attack. Perry Hills was exactly what Maryland needed him to be. Most of his completions were to receivers within four yards of the line of scrimmage, but don’t knock him for it. The strategy worked against Howard. We’ll see if they mix in anything else this time around.
- Defensive dominance. Maryland did allow two touchdowns in the second half, but that was with a defense compiled largely of reserves. In the first half, when Maryland primarily played its "1" defense, Howard averaged a paltry two yards per play and only gained two first downs.
- A blowout. You ultimately can’t take too much away from a game like this. Not to keep trashing on the good people of Howard, but Maryland just had the advantage at every level. The Terps will have a talent advantage over FIU, but it won’t be nearly as steep.
Maryland vs. Florida International - what we’re looking for
- Not a blowout. The Golden Panthers are no marquee opponent, but this game is no gimme. A couple weird factors — a Friday night game, early-season trip to Florida — are enough to make any fan feel uncomfortable about this one. Maryland is only favored by 10 points — not thaaat large of a margin. FIU lost to Indiana 34-13 in Week 1, but this game should end up being closer.
- A short week. FIU’s game against Indiana came on Sept. 1, a full eight days before Friday. Maryland played a Saturday game, and won’t have as much time to recuperate. Luckily, most of Maryland’s starters only played half of a game against Howard, so they shouldn’t be too fatigued.
- Continuation of the aforementioned solid passing attack. FIU has the No. 117 defense in the country, per S&P+, which Maryland should be able to exploit. Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow completed 67 percent of his passes on 13.3 yards per completion last week against the Panthers. Perry Hills should be able to put up at least a similar completion percentage.