Happy Friday everyone, hope you had a great holiday yesterday!
First off, I just want to thank you for taking time to read The Only Colors and personally anything I write. Whether its your first 3-2-1 Preview reading of the season or your 13th, I’m genuinely thankful someone takes time out of their day to read our thoughts.
So, we’ve got one game (hopefully two) left. Let’s make this one count.
3 Thing We Want To See
I’m not even going to break this one down into a certain position group or side of the ball. I just want to see the real, true Maryland on Saturday. Don’t give me the mirage of Maryland that hung up 63 points on Syracuse in the second game. Give me the Maryland team that’s been getting mollywhopped five of the last six games (they still lost all six, but got beat by roughly 1,000 in the other five).
I really don’t like to throw around the idea of a team quitting on their season lightly. Everyone is playing for something one way or another. But man...Maryland may be fitting that bill right now. I mean, they just came off a 47-point loss to Nebraska. Nebraska. In the year 2019. How is that even possible?
Please just keep on doing whatever you’re doing, Maryland. I beg you. We could use any help.
A perfect walk-off for Lewerke
Listen. It’s been a tough last two years for Brian Lewerke. We all know that.
But how great would it be to see him leave Spartan Stadium with a bang? Obviously we want all of our seniors to have a big game on Saturday. But on the field, Lewerke has been through a lot the last two years between his own injuries, injuries to everyone else on offense, a quarterback carousel, etc.
So somewhat storybook ending aside, Lewerke balling out would be nice for, you know, getting a win too. He had a solid performance last week with three (could have, should have been four) touchdowns to Cody White. Maryland’s pass defense isn’t quite Rutgers bad, but it’s the next-worst thing you’ll find in the Big Ten East.
And a perfect season walk-off for the front seven
You know what guys, there is something Maryland does kind of alright — running the football.
The Terps carry the ball at a 4.7 yards per carry clip, which is in the upper half of the Big Ten. Now obviously that hasn’t necessarily helped Maryland win games or be close to winning them, but if there’s one thing — just one thing — to be worried about, it’s that running game of theirs.
So on one hand, the front seven will have to shut down the run game to make this one comfortable. On the other hand in the passing game, well, I’ve got another stat coming your way here...
2 Key Stats
That’s the Maryland offensive line’s sack rate, which is not good. So “not good” that it’s ranked 114th ranked in the nation. If you thought you had a good feast on Thursday, the Spartan front seven could have an even great one (folks, that’s what we like to call “a topical Thanksgiving Day joke”).
There’s almost nothing that’s going well for Maryland through the air. If Kenny Willekes, Raequan Williams and Co. can make some noise, that trend will continue.
If you’re looking for another glowing stat about Maryland football...I’m sorry, this is another bad one. The Terps red zone conversion percentage is sitting at 66.7 percent, scoring on just 22 of their 33 trips inside the 20 yard line. 21 touchdowns and one field goal — good for last place in the Big Ten.
Michigan State’s red zone defense has been pretty solid this year, giving up points on 77.1 percent of red zone trips which is good for fourth in the Big Ten.
1 Best Bet
MSU -22.5, over/under 47.5
Welp, the “picking against MSU” strategy finally flamed out last week as they covered against Rutgers.
While everything about this game screams “blowout” I just can’t trust our Spartans to cover a number. So I’ll just go with the total and pick, what I think, the obvious side. And sometimes the seemingly obvious side can bite you in Vegas, but screw it, I’m going for it anyway.
Give me under 47.5. I can’t trust either of these offenses. Not Michigan State’s that I’ve watched all year, and not Maryland’s that’s only climbed over 20 points once in its last six games. Especially not in weather that’s calling for a 40 percent chance of rain/snow/misery and winds getting up to 15 mph.
Pick: Under 47.5
What’s your best bet for Saturday?
This poll is closed