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Maryland football at Rutgers preview

The Terps look to end their regular season with a win.

Michigan v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Maryland football will travel to Piscataway, New Jersey this weekend to take on Rutgers in the final game of the regular season.

The Terps are fresh off a hard-fought loss to No. 3 Michigan, 31-24. Maryland had multiple opportunities to win the game late, but could not convert, marking the second straight year in which lost to the Wolverines by seven points.

“I don’t believe in moral victories at all,” Maryland head coach Mike Locksley said, “but I do feel like our guys were dialed in in preparation for the game. [They] played with tremendous energy, played with tremendous effort.”

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Terps are 1-point favorites against Rutgers. The game has an over/under of 44 total points.

Saturday’s game will begin at 3:30 and air on Big Ten Network.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-5, 3-5 Big Ten)

Head coach Greg Schiano is Rutgers’ all-time wins leader, now in his second stint with the program. From 2001 to 2011, Schiano led the Scarlet Knights to five bowl games, and they were ranked in the AP poll for 20 weeks — peaking at No. 7 in 2006.

Schiano then coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two years and was an assistant at Ohio State for three years before returning to Rutgers in 2019.

He has not achieved the same success in his second stint, failing to post a winning record in his first three seasons. However, the Scarlet Knights have a chance to do so this year, sitting at 6-5.

“Rutgers is probably one of the most improved teams in the country, not just in the Big Ten,” Locksley said. “I give a lot of credit to Greg and his staff.”

Players to know

Kyle Monangai, junior running back, No. 5 – Monangai is the driving force behind Rutgers’ offense. He leads the Big Ten with 981 rushing yards on 5.0 yards per carry, also contributing seven rushing touchdowns, which ranks fifth in the conference. He has also out-carried every other Rutgers running back by at least 150 attempts.

Gavin Wimsatt, junior quarterback, No. 5 – Wimsatt heads one of the worst passing attacks in the Big Ten, tallying 1,486 passing yards, eight passing touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. But, he makes up for it on the ground. Wimsatt is the Scarlet Knights’ second leading rusher with 440 yards on 4.2 yards per carry and seven touchdowns.

Mohamed Toure, senior linebacker, No. 1 – Toure led the Scarlet Knights in sacks as a sophomore (4.5) but missed all of last year with an injury. This season, Toure has reclaimed his spot as the captain of Rutgers’ defense and one of the best linebackers in the Big Ten. In 11 games, Toure has recorded 74 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and a team-high six tackles for loss. He also has an interception and a forced fumble.

Robert Longerbeam, junior defensive back, No. 7 – Longerbeam is Rutgers’ leader in the secondary, starting all 11 games at cornerback this year. He has nine pass breakups, two forced fumbles, a sack and an interception. He made his collegiate debut against the Terps three years ago.

Strength

Offensive line. Rutgers’ offensive line is its strongest unit. The group has been crucial in the Scarlet Knights’ rushing offense, which ranks top-five in the Big Ten, and has allowed the fewest sacks in the conference (12).

Weakness

Pass rush. The Scarlet Knights struggle on the other side of the line of scrimmage, though, particularly when pressuring opposing quarterbacks. They rank last in the conference in sacks with 18.

Three things to know

1. Tagovailoa approaching a conference record. Taulia Tagovailoa has been Maryland’s starting quarterback since 2020, shattering nearly every program passing record in the process. He’s tallied 10,895 career passing yards, which ranks fourth all-time among Big Ten quarterbacks and is just 268 yards behind the all-time leader, Curtis Painter, who played at Purdue from 2005 to 2008.

“The quarterback position over the last 10, 15 years has not been a settled position here,” Locksley said. “You can’t put a value on what him coming here has done for us.”

2. Which Maryland team will show up? Maryland’s second half of the season has been tumultuous, to say the least. The Terps defeated Nebraska, 13-10, and nearly beat Michigan, but also lost to Penn State, 51-15. With an evenly-matched opponent up next, the Terps need to find consistency.

3. Maryland’s recent dominance. The Terps are 11-7 all-time against Rutgers, and have won four of the last five matchups by an average of 32.3 points — including a 37-0 victory last year. However, Rutgers boasts its best roster in years, which should make for a much more competitive game.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.