Maryland vs Rutgers: how to watch, listen, betting lines, what to watch

Maryland (6-5, 3-5 B1G) at Rutgers (6-5, 3-5 B1G)
When: Saturday, Nov. 25 | 3:40 p.m. EST
Where: SHI Stadium
Watch: Big Ten Network – Connor Onion, Matt Millen, Elise Menaker
Listen: 105.7 FM (Balt) / 980 AM (DC) – Johnny Holliday, Steve Suter
Betting: Maryland -1.5; O/U: 44.5

Maryland will look to get back in the win column on Saturday afternoon when they take on Rutgers for the regular season finale. Maryland will look to pick up its fourth win in five games against Rutgers in hopes of adding a seventh win for the third consecutive season, the first time the program has done so in 20 years. With both teams entering Saturday with a matching overall record, we break down three keys to a Maryland victory.

Force Rutgers to throw

The Scarlet Knights’ success on offense has mainly come from their running game. Kyle Monangai has the most rushing yards in the Big Ten this year and is only 21 yards away from 1000. The offense is at its best when he has a good day and stalls when teams stop him. In the four games that Monangai has rushed for under 40 yards, Rutgers has scored a total of 26 points. Quarterback Gavin Wimsatt is the team’s second leading rusher and it would be a mistake to let him get into the open field. Don’t forget about tight-end Johnny Langan. The former quarterback is one of the best athletes in the Big Ten and needs to be accounted for when on the field. Rutgers will look to get the ball in his hands at any point in the game.

While the Knights’ rushing attack has been a top-five unit in the Big Ten, the passing game is a different story. Rutgers has the third-worst passing offense in the Big Ten, only ahead of Nebraska and Iowa. Wimsatt has completed less than 50% of his passes and has only thrown eight touchdowns in 11 games with seven interceptions. He’s only completed at least 60% of his passes in two games this year, in both he through under 20 passes. Their leading receiver, Christian Dremel, is the only one to have over 400 yards in 2023. Only two others have at least 20 catches on the year, JaQuae Jackson and Isaiah Washington. The tight ends have a combined 15 catches, with Langan grabbing all but one of them. Rutgers’ offensive line has done a fantastic job this year in both the run and pass, as they have given up only 12 sacks on the year. The right side is held by seniors Curtis Dunlap and Reggie Sutton. Gus Zilinskas. Left tackle Hollin Pierce has been a starter since his freshman year. Center Gus Zilinskas has started every game this year while Bryan Felter took over as the starter at left guard against Wisconsin. They have done their job, but the struggles in the passing game have held this team back.

The Terp defense kept Michigan’s running game in check last week, for the most part. Now they need to do it again this week. The front seven needs to be in the backfield early and often on first down and put Rutgers in obvious passing situations. The offense can help out the defense if they can put together some scoring drives that give the Terps a multi-score lead. Doing that will force Rutgers to throw more and that could lead to mistakes. If the defense is half as effective against the pass as they were against Nebraska, it will give the Terps a better chance of coming out of Rutgers with a win.

Maryland’s skill players winning the one-on-one battles vs. Rutgers secondary

Maryland’s passing attack will face an intriguing matchup this weekend against a Rutgers defense that ranks third-best in the Big Ten against the pass. One of the main reasons is that their defensive backs have done a great job of taking away top targets. Many times their corners get left on an island against a receiver and have stepped up to take him away from the quarterback. The Scarlet Knights had the lead going into halftime against Ohio State because the Buckeye receivers couldn’t get any separation and notably, Marvin Harrison Jr. finished the first half of that game with two catches for 19 yards. Penn State’s Drew Allar finished last week’s game with under 100 yards passing against this defense. Not only is the Rutgers secondary active but it’s deep. 2022 All-Big Ten honorable mention and starting corner Max Melton leads the Scarlet Knights in interceptions with two. The player across from him, Roger Longerbeam, leads the team in passes defended with seven. Northern Illinois transfer Eric Rogers is tied with Melton with six and is one of the better back-ups in the Big Ten. There’s also the safety trio of Flip Dixon, Desmond Igbinosun, and Shaquan Loyal. The three are third, fourth, and fifth on the team for tackles, respectively, and can fly all over the field. Rutgers does have a challenge this week, as this Terps offense is ready to make a big play at any time.

What Rutgers doesn’t do well is turning deflections into interceptions, a key storyline as the Terps look to turn the page and win the turnover battle in the regular season finale. Maryland’s skill players still outmatch Rutgers’ defensive backs and tight end Corey Dyches and Jeshaun Jones are two breakout candidates while Kaden Prather continues to prove himself as the reliable downfield target to help the Terps win the field position battle.

After accounting for all three turnovers in last week’s loss, all eyes will be on ball security for Taulia Tagovailoa as the Terps look to close the season out strong. Maryland’s backs could be counted on to take the pressure off Lia and the receivers. This game is a battle of strength vs strength and the Terps need to be the ones to come out on top.

Avoid the letdown that has surfaced this season

After giving it their all to mount a comeback in last week’s game vs. Michigan, the Terps ultimately fell short and finished 0-3 against the Big Ten elite in 2023. Few Maryland fans expected this team to be at 6-5 heading into the regular season finale. Veterans Beau Brade, Ruben Hyppolite and Dante Trader Jr. alluded to that as they broke down the second half of Maryland’s season in the latest episode of the One Speed Podcast.

Rutgers may not be the most threatening team on offense and has struggled to disrupt the pocket for opposing quarterbacks through conference play, but the Scarlet Knights aren’t the same pushover team that Maryland has faced in years past. Rutgers will also look to send their seniors out with a win, something the Terps would’ve loved to do last week, but head coach Mike Locksley’s squad still has a bit of juice to play for. A chance to finish above .500 for the first time on the road, Maryland has a chance to pick up win number seven–and the message has been made that there’s a clear difference between a 7-5 and 6-6 finish.

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