Amongst current turmoil in their football program, the Maryland Terrapins were able to upset the No.23-ranked Texas Longhorns at FedEx Field. This week, the Terrapins are favorite on the road against the Bowling Green Falcons.
Last week, the Oregon Ducks blew out Bowling Green 58-24 at Autzen Stadium.
Saturday will be only the second ever meeting between the Terrapins and the Falcons. The only other matchup came in 2015 when Bowling Green came away with a 48-27 victory.
Maryland at Bowling Green
Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.
Spread: Maryland -16
Three Things to Watch
1. Maryland's two-quarterback system
Against Texas last week, Kasim Hill was able to throw for 222 yards and a touchdown. Tyrrell Pigrome also played some against the Longhorns, completing three of his four pass attempts.
Considering Maryland had a lot of success with the two-quarterback system a week ago against Texas, interim head coach Matt Canada will likely use the same formula against Bowling Green.
“I think both of them added things to our football team, to our offense,” Canada said according to the Terrapins official website. “We’re going to play the best players, and they’re both going to play.”
2. Bowling Green's defense
In their season opener against Oregon, Bowling Green's defense allowed 504 total yards and seven touchdowns to the Ducks' offense. They also gave up 212 rushing yards in the 58-24 rout.
Maryland's offense averaged 5.1 yards on 80 offensive plays in its 34-29 victory against Texas las week, as the Terrapins mixed in some no-huddle offense to speed up the tempo.
Despite the blowout loss, Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks said he saw some encouraging signs from his defense.
“I thought they did a good job — other than one zone read — of having their eyes in the right place,” Jinks said via the Bowling Green website. “A couple of the explosive plays we gave up, [Oregon QB Justin Herbert] made great throws. They had some kids that could run too, but our eyes were in the right place, and we had guys in the area to make the play.”
3. Maryland's defense
In the upset of Texas, the Terrapins' defense was solid, frustarting the Longhorns all game long. Texas turned the ball over three times, committed 10 penalties for 102 yards on the day and went just 3-for-15 on third down.
According to Pro Football Focus, Maryland's Tino Ellis was the highest-rated cornerback in the country for the week, earning a 91.9 rating. That placed him third among all defensive players in Week 1, according to PFF. Ellis finished the game with five tackles, including two for a loss.
Maryland's defense also got contributions from linebacker Tre Watson and corner Marcus Lewis. Watson finished with nine tackles (seven solo) and made a critical interception in the fourth quarter, while Lewis had a pair of tackles.
After last week's signature victory, Maryland should be able to continue its success against a Bowling Green team that appears to be in transition. The Terrapins seem to be better in all three phases of the game — offense, defense and special teams.
Although this game is on the road, the Terrapins should win by double digits.
Prediction: Maryland 41, Bowling Green 23
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.