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Maryland Terrapins vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Prediction and Preview

Maryland Terrapins vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Prediction and Preview

Maryland Terrapins vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Prediction and Preview

The Iowa Hawkeyes have been flying under the radar this season as they're currently 5-1 and ranked No. 19 in the country. This weekend, they will look to push their win streak to three as they host the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday.

Speaking of Maryland, the Terrapins are 4-2 and are about to enter a tough stretch in their Big Ten schedule. After facing Iowa, they will still have games against Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State, all of them currently ranked.

This will be only the third all-time meeting between Maryland and Iowa, as they have not played each other since 2015.

Maryland at Iowa

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 20 at 12 p.m. ET
Spread: Iowa -10

Three Things to Watch

1. Nate Stanley

It has been a long time since Iowa had a quarterback who made fans take notice, but the Hawkeyes definitely have that guy now. Stanley isn't a name a lot of people are talking about, but they should be, as he has been one of the best signal-callers in the Big Ten this season. His 15 touchdown passes are second in the Big Ten only to Dwayne Haskins, who has an impressive 28 for Ohio State.

Stanley has 14 touchdowns over the last four games, including six in Iowa's win against Indiana last week. The Hawkeyes will need another big performance from Stanley as they will be facing a Terrapins defense that is giving up 23.3 points per game.

2. Maryland's rushing attack

The Terrapins have one of the best rushing attacks in the nation. They're averaging 245.2 rushing yards per game, which is the third best in the Big Ten.

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Maryland has a two-headed rushing attack with Ty Johnson and Anthony McFarland both carrying the load. Johnson is averaging 72.5 yards per game, while McFarland is posting 66.5.

Maryland will face one of the toughest rushing defenses in America, an Iowa unit that ranks second in the nation in allowing just 81.5 yards per game on the ground.

3. Iowa's defense

Not only do the Hawkeyes have one of the best rushing defenses in the nation, but they also rank second in the Big Ten in total defense (282.0) and scoring defense (16.5). Iowa is the only school to rank in the top two in all three categories. Iowa also ranks fourth in passing defense (200.5).

Earlier this season, the Hawkeyes limited Iowa State to just 19 yards rushing in Week 2 and held Northern Iowa to six rushing yards in Week 3. With Maryland's dependence on running the football, the Hawkeyes will look to contain the run to force passing situations on third downs.

Final Analysis

Maryland has an explosive offense, and that should be concerning for Iowa. However, the Hawkeyes have one of the better defenses in the country, and that is a primary key in this game.

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Iowa has to be aware of Maryland's big-play potential, and the Hawkeye defenders need to play assignment football. They can't try to over pursue or make big plays when they're not there. Meanwhile, Darnell Savage Jr., who has posted four interceptions this season, will need to be a significant contributor if the Terrapins are going to have success against Stanley and the Iowa offense.

Maryland will need to throw the football against Iowa, and that could be a problem, since that isn't the Terrapins' strong suit.

Prediction: Iowa 34, Maryland 24

— 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.