Northwestern Wildcats (2-3) at Maryland Terrapins (3-2)
College Football: Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm (Maryland Stadium)
The Line: Maryland Terrapins +3.5 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Northwestern Wildcats and Maryland Terrapins meet Saturday in college football action at Maryland Stadium on ESPN2.
The Northwestern Wildcats look for their first road win of the season to get back to a .500 record. The Northwestern Wildcats have lost four of their last five road games. Clayton Thorson is completing 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,203 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. Thorson has thrown a pair of interceptions in three of his last four games. Bennett Skowronek and Garrett Dickerson have combined for 521 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Flynn Nagel has 18 receptions. The Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 114.6 yards per contest, and Justin Jackson leads the way with 339 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 26.4 points and 383.6 yards per game. Paddy Fisher leads the Northwestern Wildcats with 43 tackles, Joe Gaziano has three sacks and Montre Hartage has one interception.
The Maryland Terrapins look for a spark of consistency here after splitting their last four games. The Maryland Terrapins won five of their last eight home games. Max Bortenschlager is completing 54.4 percent of his passes for 306 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Bortenschlager has four career touchdown passes on 111 pass attempts. D.J. Moore and Taivon Jacobs have combined for 597 receiving yards and six touchdowns while Jacquille Veii has seven receptions. The Maryland Terrapins ground game is averaging 196.8 yards per contest, and Ty Johnson leads the way with 468 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Maryland is allowing 36.4 points and 420.6 yards per game. Jermaine Carter, Jr. leads the Maryland Terrapins with 34 tackles, Andrew Isaacs has 1.5 sacks and JC Jackson has two interceptions.
The Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in October, 11-4 ATS in their last 15 road games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 conference games. The Terrapins are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 conference games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in October. The over is 5-1 in Terrapins last 6 games overall and the over is 6-2 in Wildcats last 8 road games.
I'm not sure what to make of this Northwestern team. On one hand you could make a case for their schedule, as losses on the road to Duke and Wisconsin along with a home loss to Penn State are respectable outcomes. On the other hand, you can say past Northwestern teams would have competed in those games and possibly stole a victory in one of them. These aren't the same Wildcats from the past couple of years, and it's a shame because there's a lot of the same players. Maryland is coming off a blowout loss to Ohio State, but it finally gets a home game, as three of the Terps first five contests have been on the road. To me the jury is still out on both of these teams, and this feels like an elimination game in terms of who to trust moving forward. I still feel like Northwestern is the better team overall and I trust its defense a lot more. I wouldn't bet this game personally, but I'm leaning Wildcats.