COLLEGE PARK – After coming up short against Rutgers last weekend, the Maryland Terrapins are looking to rebound as they welcome the No. 21 Michigan Wolverines to Maryland Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A win against the Scarlet Knights would have made Maryland’s path to a second consecutive bowl much easier. Instead, the Terrapins must find a way to beat two of its remaining three opponents, all ranked, that have a combined 6-3 record against the Terps since they joined the conference in 2014.
The last time Maryland knocked off more than one ranked opponent in a season (the Terrapins beat No. 23 Texas in September) was 2007.
Suffice to say history is not on their side.
Meanwhile, Michigan will look to keep their slim Big Ten East title hopes alive. Already 1 1/2 games behind division leading Michigan State, the Wolverines face a difficult schedule of their own.
After today, Michigan faces No. 8 Wisconsin on the road before their annual season finale against No. 13 Ohio State in Ann Arbor in two weeks.
The Wolverines will leave College Park with games at No. 8 Wisconsin and home against No. 13 Ohio State left on the schedule.
Maryland comes into yet another game facing questions at quarterback after starter Max Bortenschlager was knocked out of the game against Rutgers leaving his status for the game uncertain.
If Bortenschlager is unable to go, sophomore Ryan Brand, an Air Force transfer, will likely make his first career start for the Terrapins.
Last week in relief of Bortenschlager, Brand completed 8 of 12 passes for 68 yards and almost brought the Terps back to tie the game.
With Wilton Speight and John O’Korn still nursing injuries of their own, Brandon Peters will make his second consecutive start at quarterback.
The sophomore from Avon, Indiana completed 8 of 13 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in the Wolverines win over Minnesota last weekend.
Michigan will likely rely on Karan Higdon to carry the load against a Maryland defense that has given up an average of 198 rushing yards in three games against ranked opponents.
If the Terrapins have any shot at winning this game, it will likely depend on their ability to force turnovers. Against Michigan State, the Wolverines committed five turnovers without taking the ball away from the Spartans a single time.
- Since joining the Big Ten, Maryland is 1-2 against the Wolverines. The Terps beat Michigan, 23-16, in their inaugural Big Ten season, but lost the last two by a combined score of 87-3.
- Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin served as Jim Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator in 2015 before being hired at Maryland.
- Michigan holds the all-time record in the series, 5-1.