Maryland vs Michigan State Prediction, Preview
It is hard to believe that the Maryland Terrapins' football season is almost over. In December, the Terrapins hired Alabama's assistant coach Mike Locksley to be their next head coach and the hype surrounding the team kept growing. Unfortunately after winning only one out of the last nine games, the Terrapins went from hot to cold really fast.
As for Michigan State, their offense is bad. Inconsistencies in their passing game and run attack resulted in the Spartans losing five of their last six games. After their 10-3 season in 2017, they have been an underwhelming football team to watch.
The Good and Bad of Maryland
Quarterback Josh Jackson owns the second-worst completion percentage (48.3) among starters in college football. To make matters worse, they have allowed 34 sacks on the season, which is the 10th-most in the nation. The offense has been lackluster and disappointing.
Arguably, the Terrapins' best playmaker on the offense is Javon Leake. His is ranked third in all of college football with 7.8 yards per carry. He leads the team with 716 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Despite the decent statistics, he lost three fumbles in Maryland's 54-7 loss to Nebraska last weekend. If he struggles, the entire team will follow.
With the problems at the quarterback position, none of the Terrapins' receivers have really been impressive. Sophomore wideout Dontay Demus leads the team with 529 receiving yards but has been held to three catches or less in nine games this season. With Maryland owning the 18th-worst passing attack in the nation, do not expect any of the receivers to breakout against Michigan State.
Their defense are almost as bad as the offense. They have allowed the 28th-most yards to opponents, getting beat in all phases of the game. The Terrapins' best player on the defense is senior linebacker Keandre Jones. The former Ohio State transfer leads the team with seven sacks. No other player on the team has more than two sacks.
If the Terrapins do not find a way to run the ball early and effectively, they do not stand a chance to win at East Lansing, Michigan.
The Good and Bad for Michigan State
Michigan State is coming off a 27-0 win over Rutgers. Although freshman running back Elijah Collins put up 851 rushing yards this season, do not be fooled by the numbers. Their run game is not great, failing to hit the 90-yard mark in four of the last five games.
They own a very solid wide receiver corps, led by Cody White and Darrell Stewart Jr. White has been a mismatch against defenses, exposing cornerbacks with his size at 6-foot-3 215 pounds. Stewart suffered a leg injury and will miss the game against Maryland.
The Spartans' defense is led by senior defensive end Kenny Willekes, who leads the team with 7.5 sacks. The unit is ranked in the top-25 in sacks with 32. The loss of Joe Bachie for the season due to PEDs will hurt, considering he was a leader of the Spartans' defensive front.
Even though the Spartans sit at 5-6 on the season, they remain in contention for a bowl game.
Maryland has been embarrassed at home and away. They could not get anything going against a struggling Nebraska team. Expect things to be the same this weekend. Michigan State has the home-field advantage. Elijah Collins and Cody White should have big days against a bad Maryland football team. Head coach Mike Locksley will likely use multiple quarterbacks in the game, with Josh Jackson's constant struggles. It should be a fairly easy win for Michigan State, as Maryland finishes their 2019 season in a bad way.