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Maryland vs Rutgers: 3 most important matchups

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Three things to look for in Maryland's season finale.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

In last year's matchup with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the Terps let the game slip away in the second half after leading 35-17. It was all Rutgers after that, as the Knights shut down the Terps offensively and outscored them 24-3 in the second half. Rutgers won the game, 41-38, thanks to a 25 yard field goal by then-junior Kyle Federico.

Three Rutgers wide receivers chewed up Maryland's secondary: Janarion Grant (eight receptions, 105 yards (13.1 yards per catch), Leonte Carroo (six receptions, 104 yards (17.3 yards per catch), two touchdowns) and Andre Patton (eight receptions, 101 yards (12.6 yards per catch) and two touchdowns). Rutgers has a laundry list of injuries and Carroo and Patton are on it but they have been upgraded to probable with hip and upper body injuries respectively.

So here are the three matchups Maryland needs to win in order to get their first Big Ten victory.

#1. Maryland's secondary vs Rutgers' Carroo, Grant and Patton

Maryland's secondary may have to be creative this time around when game planning for these guys. They were responsible, I would say, in large part to Rutgers getting the edge they needed last season and it will be important for Maryland to contain their production. It's typical for an offense to have one or two guys that are good options in the passing game, but Rutgers has three. The Terps will have their work cut out for them but in order to contain these guys, Will Likely, Sean Davis and Safeties A.J. Hendy and Anthony Nixon need to be physical across the middle and at the line of scrimmage. Using different zone schemes to confuse Rutgers quarterback Chris Laviano would help as well.

#2. Run the ball, run it again and then run the ball some more

In last year's matchup, the Terps put up 281 yards rushing and three touchdowns on the Scarlet Knights defense. That defense is 67th in defensive rushing yards per game (166.5) and has given up a total of 1,832 rushing yards this season. Maryland hasn't exactly been a great rushing team, but the Terps have caught teams on certain weeks despite that not contributing to a win. If they make the bulk of their plays geared towards the running game and the offensive line can get good leverage, the Terps should be able to have a lot of success.

#3. Maryland's quarterback (probably Perry Hills) vs. Rutgers's defense

Maryland's quarterback play this season has been awful and the Terps couldn't catch a break when it came to throwing interceptions. So whoever will be under center tomorrow against Rutgers has to be efficient or more of the same will happen.