Maryland football is now 4-2 after a 34-7 cakewalk through the Rutgers University football program over the weekend. Here’s our Weekly Outlook, which takes a look at what we saw over the weekend and what we’re expecting this week.
Maryland easily beat a helpless Rutgers team.
Not even in the brief history of Maryland-Rutgers matchups had we seen a performance this ghastly. Rutgers couldn’t pass at all, ending up with eight total yards, two completions and five interceptions on 17 attempts. Meanwhile, Maryland was able to to rack up 290 rushing yards on 7.3 yards per carry. It was the rebound fans hoped for after the Terps couldn’t get things going against a steely Michigan defense.
Maryland’s passing game was questionable again, but that’s been a tough nut to crack all season. This week’s opponent is a lot closer to Michigan than it is to Rutgers, but more on that shortly.
Maybe some big news on DJ Durkin and the investigation into the football program comes this week. But who knows, really.
Maryland’s Board of Regents meets on Friday. This is a meeting multiple media reports have mentioned as a potential landing spot for the commission investigating Maryland football to present its findings to the Board. But we haven’t heard any confirmation that the commission has concluded its investigation yet, so it’s unclear.
Here’s a potential answer for why the investigation has taken so long to this point, from The Washington Post’s Rick Maese:
People familiar with the commission’s investigation say there are several reasons it has lasted this long. Among them: the scope of the review was vast and somewhat nebulous; commission members tried to reach as many of the Maryland players who competed under Durkin as possible, a timely undertaking; and as investigators have discovered new information, they have had to re-interview some people they met with early in the process.
University president Wallace Loh first announced the investigation on Aug. 14. The Board took over the investigation and added more members, but it’s still been two months since the initial announcement. How much longer is this going to take?
Iowa gets the Terps at home, and seems to be on a roll.
The Hawkeyes are 5-1 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play, with the lone loss coming against Wisconsin in Week 4. They just suffocated Indiana, and have now scored 40-plus points in back-to-back games.
Iowa’s defense ranks 19th in S&P+, and the Hawkeyes’ offense is 53rd. They’re No. 19 in the AP Poll, and that ranking seems to match up with how they’ve played (S&P+ ranks them at No. 21).
After some early-season struggles, it seems they’ve started to figure things out on offense. Quarterback Nate Stanley has been solid all season, but really stepped up these past few weeks against solid Minnesota and Indiana defenses. Iowa’s problem on offense seems to center around its running game, which may seem strange to hear. But that’s what happens when you lose a star like Akrum Wadley at running back along with center James Daniels. Iowa’s rushing game ranks 113rd in efficiency and 115th in explosiveness, per Bill Connelly’s metrics (deeper explanation here). Through the air, they rank 40th and 26th in those same areas.
If Iowa’s offense is operating the way it has been the past two weeks, that’s trouble for Maryland, because Iowa’s defense seems tailor-made to stop the Terps.
The Hawkeyes’ defense ranks 82nd in efficiency and first in explosiveness against the run, and seventh in efficiency and 18th in explosiveness defending the pass.
Maryland’s strength on offense is creating big plays, especially on the ground. The Terps rank third in rushing explosiveness, but are lacking through the air, which adds up to an unflattering picture.
This will be a big test. Either Kasim Hill and Tyrrell Pigrome will have to finally get things going through the air, or Maryland’s offensive line and running backs will have to get through a beefy Iowa defense. Both options are far from ideal, and it’ll be up to interim head coach and offensive coordinator Matt Canada to to get his unit ready.