Game #5 The Terps have Indiana in College Park

The Maryland Terrapins take their 4-0 record back to SECU Stadium in College Park for a chance to start the season 5-0 against the Indiana Hoosiers. It is hard to believe that we are approaching the halfway point in the season. These B1G matchups are a key for Maryland before they have to face Ohio State next week.

Generally, teams become eligible for Bowl Games by winning six or more games and having a winning percentage of at least . 500. What that means for the Terps in their 12-game schedule is that they need to win at least two more games to be bowl-eligible. After today, the Terps face Ohio State, Illinois, Northwestern, Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan, and Rutgers. Here is the AP Top-25 NCAA rankings.

You will see in the national rankings that Michigan is at No. 2, Ohio State No. 6, and Penn State is at No. 7. Since they each play each other, there is only one possibility that one undefeated team emerges from the eastern division of the Big-Ten. The West and East divisions started in 2014 when Maryland and Rutgers joined. Next year that will go away after the Big-Ten announced their western expansion and added USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington for the 2024 season, as well as a new multi-billion-dollar media rights deal with Fox, CBS, NBC, and Peacock that will guarantee each school at least $50 million annually. The expansion to 18-schools makes this the most powerful football conference in the NCAA.

The conference has elected to continue the nine-conference-game format, through the Flex Protect Plus Model, which features “a combination of protected opponents and rotating opponents” to where each team will play “every other conference opponent at least twice — once home and away — in a four-year period,” the B1G announced in a press release in June. That will add a lot of nationwide exposure as the Big-Ten expands east coast to west coast.

The Terps are 4-0 to start the season for the second time in three years, winning each game by 18-plus points. Maryland is one of only three schools in the FBS to be 4-0 and win each game by 18-plus (# 2 Michigan & #7 Washington).

Over the last 19 games played, dating back to 2021, Maryland is 14-5, good for the fourth-best record of any Big Ten school, trailing only three top-10 teams: #2 Michigan (17-2), #4 Ohio State (16-3) and #6 Penn State (15-4).

Maryland has won each of its first four games of the season by at least 18 points for the first time since 1913. This start also marks the first time in program history that Maryland has scored 31-plus points in the first four games of the season. Maryland is one of only 11 FBS teams and the only Big Ten team that are 4-0 and have scored 31-plus in their first four games.

The Terps have won six games in a row dating back to last season’s game vs. Rutgers (11/26), their longest winning streak since winning seven in a row in 2003-04. The six-game winning streak is currently the ninth-longest in all of the FBS and the second-longest in the Big Ten.

Maryland currently ranks first in the Big Ten in total offense, averaging 450.5 yards per game and second in scoring offense, averaging 37.2 points per game, passing offense, averaging 283.8 yards per game and third down percentage, converting at a 50-percent rate.

Today the team will once again look to their redshirt senior QB1, Taulia Tagovailoawho now owns most of the quarterback passing records in Terrapins history. Tagovailoa, who is coming off a great game last week against Michigan State, holds the Maryland record in passing touchdowns (59), passing yards (8,991), and completions (752).

Terps’ head coach Michael Locksley this week talked about how Tagovailoa has stepped up into an elite level as one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He is on the Watch Lists for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Manning Award and Polynesian Player of the Year and this past week a Davey O’Brien Great 8 award winner, Tagovailoa currently stands top-15 among all FBS QBs in career completion percentage (sixth), passing yards per game (11th), completions per game (13th) and total offense (14th). Locksley does want the run game to be more consistent.

“It’s not always about run blocking. We need to get the ball to the open gap [on the run game].”

— Locksley said

The Maryland defense has been fantastic for the past six games (Rutgers, 11/26/22 – pres.) dating back to last season, only allowing nine points per game. The Terps have only allowed five touchdowns over the last six games. This season, the Terps are allowing only 12.2 points per game, the 11th-best mark in the country. Maryland has forced 11 turnovers, the second-best in the nation while also standing second in the nation in turnover margin (+8).

Maryland’s record: 4-0, 1-0 Big Ten

Indiana’s record: 2-2, 0-1 Big Ten

All-time series:  Indiana leads 7-4

DraftKings Sportsbook line: Maryland -14.5, O/U 50.0

Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 23, 3:30 p.m. ET

Stadium: SECU Stadium in College Park, Maryland

TV: BTN, Play-By-Play: Connor Onion
Analyst: Matt Millen
Sideline: Elise Menaker

Streaming TV: BTN

Radio: Audacy Radio App / SiriusXM 136; 105.7 FM (Balt.) / 980 AM (D.C.) — Johnny Holliday (play-by-play), Steve Suter (analyst)

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