Illinois and Maryland meet under the Friday night lights for a Big Ten clash featuring two teams seemingly heading in opposite directions.
The Illini were the talk of college football after their Week 0 win over Nebraska, but things haven't gone near as well since. Bret Bielema's squad has dropped two straight games, including a 42-14 setback to Virginia last week.
How to Watch Illinois vs. Maryland:
Game Date: Sept. 17, 2021
Game Time: 9 p.m. ET
TV Channel: FOX Sports 1
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Meanwhile, the Terrapins have looked like a team on the rise. Maryland is 2-0 on the season, coming off a 62-0 win over Howard last week and looking for its first conference win Friday night.
Driving Maryland's success is junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. So far this season, the Alabama transfer is completing 76% of his passes while tossing seven touchdowns and zero interceptions, throwing for over 300 yards per game in the process.
Illinois will have to do a better job defending the pass than it did last week to have a chance against the Terrapins. When facing Virginia, the Illini defense allowed 423 yards through the air, with Cavaliers quarterback Brennan Armstrong averaging over 11 yards per pass attempt.
Friday night's game will be just the second all-time meeting between Illinois and Maryland, the latter of which joined the Big Ten in 2014. The Terps took the previous meeting in dominating fashion, a 63-33 win in College Park in 2018.
Kickoff from Champaign is set for 9 p.m. ET Friday night.