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Get To Know The Opponent: Maryland

NCAA Football: Maryland at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State (2-2) looks to end its two-game skid in College Park against Maryland (3-1) on Saturday in its second game of conference play.

School: University of Maryland

Nickname: Terrapins

Location: College Park, Maryland

Head Coach: Michael Locksley

Series History: MSU leads 10-2. The Spartans have won the last four meetings, including a 40-21 home victory last season.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa lived up to his family legacy and billing as a recruit in a breakout season in 2021, setting school records in three categories, including passing yards with 3,860, and tying the school’s record for passing touchdowns with 26.

Tagovailoa suffered a hit against Michigan last week that prompted a short exit from a contest in which Maryland enjoyed a brief lead before eventually falling 34-27, leaving his status ahead of Saturday unknown. Wide receiver Rakim Jarrett is also a “game-day decision” for this weekend’s game.

The junior signal-caller would pose another formidable matchup for a struggling MSU defense, especially with his ability to make plays with his legs, as he was efficient on the ground against Michigan for 20 yards on four rushes. So far in 2022, Tagovailoa has thrown for 1,102 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions.

Pregame Trends

Following two straight weeks of prophecy from Las Vegas’ sportsbooks, in which the Spartans settled around three-point underdogs versus Washington and Minnesota, Michigan State opened as a seven-point underdog this week, according to DraftKings. Maryland (-7.5) is clearly considered a strong home favorite this weekend as each side looks to rebound from a loss.

Synopsis

Maryland’s passing attack has been solid this year with Tagovailoa under center, recording nearly 300 yards through the air per game. Michigan State have struggled defensively, especially when defending the pass, allowing an average of 332.5 yards in its last two games. While his status is up in the air, it seems Tagovailoa will be ready to play, even if he is less than 100 percent. If Tagovailoa is ready to go, MSU will likely struggle in pass coverage once again, and likely continue to play from behind, which will be an even tougher task to overcome on the road.