Maryland football opens as double digit favorite against Virginia

Maryland’s first and only Friday Night Lights of the season is next up on the schedule as border rival Virginia heads to College Park for the first time since 2013.

The last time these two teams played? Maryland pulled out a 27-26 win in College Park as a go-ahead touchdown from Caleb Rowe to Dave Steinbaugh gave the Terps the narrow victory.

This week, Maryland enters the matchup as a 14.5-point favorite per Draftkings.

The opening line shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as the two teams have opened 2023 heading in opposite directions, with the Terps looking to remain undefeated heading into conference play while the ‘Hoos are still searching for their first win.

Virginia was able to battle with Tennessee on the road in week one, trailing only 7-0 after the first quarter, before the Vols rallied behind a sold out Nissan Stadium in Nashville in an eventual 49-13 rout. Heading into the season opener, former Monmouth QB Tony Muskett had never played in front of a crowd larger than 21,500 but a shoulder injury prevented him from finishing the week one loss.

After turning to true freshman quarterback Anthony Colandrea in the fourth quarter relief, it was Colandrea who drew the start against James Madison and, just like Maryland, Virginia found themselves down 14-0 just three minutes into the game on Saturday. After taking a 17-14 deficit into halftime, Virginia battled back to take a 35-24 lead into the fourth quarter, but James Madison found the endzone twice in the final nine minutes—including a game-winning touchdown with 55 seconds left—to stun the ‘Hoos.

“This one hurts,” Virginia head coach Tony Elliott said. “It’s going to hurt for a while.”

Maryland will look to make that pain last a bit longer against their former ACC rival, but the Terps’ coaching staff will look to bounce back after a shaky first half against Charlotte.

Maryland did what Virginia couldn’t on Saturday—overcome an early 14-0 deficit by scoring 38 unanswered points to defeat Charlotte and first-year head coach Biff Poggi. Maryland moved to 2-0 for the eighth time in nine seasons, including the fourth time under head coach Mike Locksley, despite the Terps failing to “meet the standard today.”

“Our standard is to start fast and finish strong and we didn’t do either one of those two things and we’re still able to come away with a pretty good win. And so for us, nobody in locker room is excited about how we played but we overcame some adversity, early adversity, which kind of showed me that we’re the type of team that I thought we could be,” Locksley said following Saturday’s win.

Kickoff is set for 7 PM on FS1 on Friday night.

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