5 Point Favorite Maryland Will Lose Straight Up To Iowa
The Iowa Hawkeyes, (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten), travel to Maryland to take on the Terrapins, (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten), as a 4.5-5.0 point underdog Saturday.
Both teams are 3-3 against the spread this season.
Maryland is 1-5 against the spread at home in its last six home games. While Iowa is 4-1 against the spread on the road in its last five road games.
The two teams have very similar offensive numbers.
Maryland averages 399.7 total yards. 140.3 rushing yards, and 259.3 passing yards.
Iowa 381.3 total yards, 151.3 rushing yards, and 230.0 passing yards.
Maryland has a dual threat quarterback in C.J. Brown who leads the team in rushing yards.
He is fortunate to have perhaps the best one-two wide receiver combo in the entire country.
Stefon Diggs, 36 catches for 450 yards, and Deon Long, 27 catches for 307 yards, are an immensly talented duo that both missed significant time last season. The pair account for more then 70% of the receiving yards for Maryland this season.
On the other hand, the Terrapin running backs leave a lot to be desired
None rank in the top 25 in the Big Ten. Brandon Ross has 216 yards on 43 carries while Wes Brown has 190 yards on 45 carries. No one else has more than 16 carries.
Iowa does things a little differently.
The Hawkeyes have started two quarterbacks this year and both played in last weeks game. Jake Rudock took the majority of snaps, but C.J. Beathard logged three series.
The two spread the ball around.
At least 10 different players have caught passes in four of their six games. Iowa is deep at wide receiver and tight end.
While Iowa does not have a 100-yard rusher this season. It is safe to say the two getting the carries recently, Mark Weisman and Jordan Canzeri, are better than anyone on Maryland's roster.
The Iowa offense finally clicked on all cylinders last week, racking up their most points since 2011.
Terrapin end Andre Monroe, second in Big Ten sacks, matches up with tackle Brandon Scherff, which should be fun to watch.
While the offensive numbers are similar, the defensive numbers favor Iowa.
The Hawkeye defensive line should give Maryland problems.
The Terrapins won't be running the ball on Iowa and Brown will be in scramble mode with the likes of Carl Davis, Drew Ott, and Louis Trinca-Pasat, his 4.5 sacks ties for third in the Big Ten, breathing down his neck.
Iowa shutdown corner Desmond King, who had a pick six last week, will be another fun match-up to watch, whomever he covers Saturday.
The rest of the Hawkeye pass defense has improved every week. So much so they now rank 24th in the country for passing yards allowed. Maryland will be their toughest test to date.
Maryland on the other hand has defensive problems. Outside of the defensive line anchored by Monroe, the defense has some issues.
Will Likely, his three interceptions is tied for first in the Big Ten, is a good cornerback and Jeremiah Johnson is decent. But Iowa goes four deep at wide receiver, not to mention two good tight ends.
It is never a good sign when a safety leads the team in tackles, but safety Sean Davis does for Maryland.
Each offense posses problems for the opposing defense.
Iowa may struggle with its first duel threat quarterback match-up of the year for a quarter or two before figuring it out. While King will lock down one of the Terrapin dual threat receivers, the other can exploit the Hawkeyes.
Iowa has been susceptible to big plays, but more often from runs than passes. If forced into obvious passing situations the Terrapin line will struggle versus the Iowa pass rush.
Iowa's depth at wide receiver and tight end posses big problems for the Maryland defense.
It is much more likely Iowa shuts down Maryland than vice versa.
Despite the fact Maryland is coming off a bye and motivated after being thrashed by Ohio State last game, this isn't a great match-up for them.
I like Iowa to play back and deep without the threat of a running game, and win this game straight up 28-20.