This is it. The final week of regular season college football is here. While we were certainly hoping this week would mean something to MSU on a larger scale, the Spartans still have work to do. A win on senior day against Maryland would make the Spartans bowl eligible. It extends some careers by one more game, and gives the younger players more practice time. It is a must win for many reasons, but the most tangible is the reward of a bowl game.
Standing in their way are the mighty turtles from out east. So let’s get to know the Maryland football team.
School: University of Maryland
Conference: Big Ten (East Division)
Location: College Park, Maryland
Head Coach: Mike Locksley (1st season)
Record: 3-8 (1-7 in Big Ten)
All-Time Series: Michigan State leads 8-2
Stop me if you have heard this one before. Maryland started the season off with a surprising non-conference win, before falling apart and resuming their yearly battle with Rutgers for the B1G East cellar.
Speaking of which, Maryland’s only win since their surprising week two win over Syracuse was against Rutgers on October 5th. Since then it has been six straight losses for the Terps, the closest of which was a six point loss to Indiana. That is also the only game in the losing streak where Maryland scored more than 14 points.
Maryland comes in at 85th in the country in scoring averaging 26.1 points per game overall. However, as mentioned, this number is pretty heavily skewed by their first two games of the year against Howard and Syracuse. Over the last nine games, they are averaging 16.1 points per game, and that includes a 48 point output over Rutgers.
Defensively, Maryland is 119th in scoring defense, allowing 36.1 points per game. Other than Rutgers, every other Big Ten opponent has scored at least 34 points against them.
The Terrapins have been a decent rushing team, checking in at 55th in the country at 169.91 yards per game. They average 4.72 yards per carry, which is 45th overall, which is also their rank in rushing touchdowns.
But that is about all they have going for them on offense. Through the air Maryland is 112th overall, averaging 176 yards per game. They are 114th in yards per attempt, and 117th in passer rating.
On the defensive side, Maryland is 90th in rushing defense, allowing 186.09 yards per game. They are 78th in opponent’s yards per rush giving up 4.41 yards per carry.
It’s even worse through the air where the Terps are allowing 264.8 yards per game, ranking 112th nationally. Opponents throw for an even eight yards per attempt, 98th overall, and have 28 passing touchdowns against eight interceptions.
The Terps defense has 21 sacks on the season, 80th in the country. Meanwhile, they have allowed 34 sacks, tied for 10th most.
The turnover margin is not kind either. Maryland is minus-four overall with 14 takeaways and 18 turnovers.
In keeping with Maryland football tradition, this year’s team has not one quarterback, but several. And none of them are doing very well. Juniors Josh Jackson and Tyrrell Pigrome have both seen action throughout the year and are continuing to split duties.
Jackson leads the team in yards (1,133), completions, attempts, and touchdowns (11). That being said, he has not thrown for 100 yards since the Rutgers game.
Pigrome is second on the team in all the same categories but leads the team with six interceptions. Pigrome was the starter for two weeks after Rutgers, and the splitting of duties has also kept him from reaching the 100 yard mark over the last four weeks. He is also the more mobile of the two QB’s having rushed for 144 yards and a couple touchdowns.
The team’s leading rusher is Javon Leake, who has 716 yards on the year and is averaging 7.78 yards per carry. He also has a team high eight rushing TD’s.
Anthony McFarland Jr. has a team high 106 carries, and is second with 480 yards and seven TD’s. McFarland also adds 16 catches for 122 yards and a touchdown as a receiver out of the backfield.
The team’s leading receiver is Dontay Demus Jr., a sophomore, who has 34 receptions for 529 yards and five touchdowns.
Tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo is the second leading pass catcher with 19 receptions for 201 yards and two scores.
On defense Keandre Jones leads the team with seven sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. And he is third on the squad with 63 total tackles. He has also forced two fumbles and is by far their most disruptive defensive player.
Antoine Brooks Jr. is second on the team in tackles for loss (8) and total tackles (76) and has a fumble recovery and an interception to his credit as well.
Freshman defensive back Nick Cross has a team high two interceptions and is sixth on the team in tackles.
And for the most bizarre stat, Maryland has made just ONE field goal this year. Sophomore kicker Joseph Petrino is 1-for-4 on field goals and 35-for-36 on extra points. Going back to 2009 no team has made less than two field goals for a season.