Preview: Five Things to Watch vs. Michigan State

 

Maryland (3-1, 0-1 B1G) vs. Michigan State (2-2, 0-1 B1G)
When: Sat., Oct. 1 | 3:35 p.m. EST
Where: SECU Stadium
Watch: FS1 – Noah Eagle, Mark Helfrich
Listen: 105.7 FM (Balt) / 980 AM (DC) – Johnny Holliday, Steve Suter

  • Pass Game Takeover?: Last week, Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan passed for 268 yards and had as many incompletions (3) as touchdown passes. The Spartans have also allowed the fourth-most passing yards among the Big Ten teams this year. Things don’t like better for them this week as they play a Maryland team that is a big play waiting to happen. Even though leading receiver Rakim Jarrett might be out after hitting head against Michigan, there are still plenty of options to go to. Everyone is still waiting for Dontay Demus to have his I’m back performance after a knee injury from last year. Could this be the game where that happens? Jacob Copeland and Jeshaun Jones have filled the number one receiver role through the first four games. Octavian Smith Jr. and Tai Felton have taken advantage of their opportunities. Tight ends Corey Dyches and CJ Dippre are also reliable. And you shouldn’t forget about Roman Hemby coming out of the backfield. It seems like the only thing that can stop Maryland’s offense this week is the injury to Taulia Tagovailoa. Speaking of which…
  • How Does Lia Adjust to Injury?: Tagovailoa suffered an injury in the loss to Michigan. He was replaced by Billy Edwards in the last drive of the game. Coach Locksley said both Lia and Rakim Jarrett are going to be game-time decisions. Tagovailoa, meanwhile, had some positive news on his health. “I’m 100%. I feel good,” said Lia. Is Lia truly healthy, or will he be affected by the injury?
  • Containing Jacoby Widemon: Widemon is Michigan State’s best player and one of the best defenders in the Big Ten this year. The UNLV transfer is tied for first in the nation with 5.5 sacks and has also forced five fumbles. Slowing him down will be key to the Terps’ offensive success against the Spartans. The player who will have that responsibility is left tackle Jaelyn Duncan. This will be a big game for Duncan, as this will be a chance to show NFL teams how he performs against an elite edge rusher. If Duncan can keep Widemon in check, it will make the offense’s job easier.
  • Rebound for the Rushing Defense?: Blake Corum ran all over the Terps defense last week, rushing for 243 yards, two touchdowns, and had over eight yards a carry. In the three games before then, the Terps’ defense held their opponents to under four yards a carry. Against Michigan State, Maryland has a chance to right the ship, as the Spartans have the third worst rushing attack in the Big Ten. Against Washington and Minnesota, Michigan State didn’t average more than three yards a carry. Transfers Jalen Berger and Jarek Broussard lead the rushing attack as Michigan State tried to replace Kenneth Walker. After a game everyone would like to forget against Michigan, Maryland has a chance to rebound against Michigan State.
  • Michigan Hangover?: Maryland played a hard-fought game against Michigan. Against the number four team in the country, the Terps gave themselves a chance to win and could of if it wasn’t for some mistakes. However, a game like that could have taken a lot out of the team and there could be a decline in performance. There are questions as to how effective Lia, Jarrett, and linebacker Ruben Hyppolite will be if they play. Maryland can not allow themselves to struggle early against Michigan State, or they could be playing from behind all game. The little could be the difference between a win or a loss.

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