Rutgers vs Maryland Live Free Reddit Stream: The Maryland Terrapins have had an interesting season. While Maryland is 2-2 overall, they have had some games lost due to COVID-19 issues with their own team or opponents. Now they will host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday.
The Terrapins did not play last week because of Michigan’s COVID-19 problems, but the Scarlet Knights did, losing 23-7 at home to Penn State. In head coach Greg Schiano’s first season back at the helm, Rutgers (2-5) has notched wins over Michigan State and Purdue this season, already matching its total for all of 2019 (2-10). A win over Maryland would give the Scarlet Knights their most Big Ten victories since going 3-6 in 2017.
Maryland has won four of the last five meetings against Rutgers, including last year’s 48-7 victory in Piscataway.
Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral has completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns, but he has eight interceptions. Vedral will clearly need to take better care of the football for Rutgers to have a chance against Maryland. What could help is if running back Isaih Pacheco can get going.
Pacheco leads the Scarlet Knights in rushing with 396 yards and two touchdowns. But collectively, the team is 11th in the Big Ten with 128.3 rushing yards per game and is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry.
“I think you see consistency in the (Rutgers) product,” Maryland head coach Mike Locksley said. “As a head coach, I watch all three phases. You just see a bunch of players really playing hard and with great effort. They’re building and having gotten to know Greg (Schiano) … you see them taking on his personality.”
In his first season with the Terrapins, Taulia Tagovailoa has completed 62 percent of his passes for 1,011 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. In the team’s two wins, he has been really good, but when he’s struggled, so have the Terps. In his last game against Indiana, Tagovailoa connected on fewer than half of his attempts (17 of 36) with three interceptions.
One player who could be a significant factor on Saturday is wide receiver Dontay Demus Jr. In last year’s meeting against Rutgers, Demus scored an 80-yard touchdown on Maryland’s first possession. This season, Demus has recorded 23 receptions for 342 yards and three touchdowns.
Rutgers is better than it has been in recent years, as the Scarlet Knights have won a couple of games and two of their losses have come by a total of nine points. But Maryland appears to be better in all three phases at this point, starting on offense.
While Taulia Tagovailoa has undoubtedly had his struggles this year, he also has put up good numbers in the Terrapins’ two victories. Expect Maryland to test Rutgers’ secondary early, trying to hit on some big plays through the air. If that works, Maryland can rely on its ground game to eat up some clock in the second half.
Rutgers has the ability to keep the game close, but Maryland has the edge especially playing at home.
After the team’s third cancellation of the season last weekend against Michigan, Maryland football will close out its 2020 regular season campaign against Rutgers Saturday.
The last time Maryland took the field was in Bloomington, Indiana, where the No. 12 ranked Hoosiers won in a defensive battle, 27-11. The Terps played that game after two weeks off due to COVID-19 positive test results within their own program and made the away trip without many vital players.
All but one player (Ayinde ‘Ace’ Eley) who missed the game against Indiana will be back in action to face the Scarlett Knights in the season finale. On the offensive side of the ball, running back Jake Funk, wide receivers Jeshaun Jones and Rakim Jarrett, and offensive linemen Johnny Jordan and Marcus Minor return. On defense, Tarheeb Still, Nick Cross and Fa’Najae Gotay will get back on the gridiron.
“I feel like our whole team is coming back together,” quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa said. “Hopefully we can come out on Saturday and send the seniors off the right way.”
Though playing in an abbreviated season with only five regular season games, a win against the Scarlet Knights would give the Terps their first final record above .500 since 2014, the team’s first season in the Big Ten.
“It means everything,” defensive lineman Mosiah Nasisi-Kite said. “We’re trying to get a winning record around here and change the culture around here. It means the world, especially for me, someone who’s trying to help Locks, to put this program back where it needs to be.”
The game will kick-off at noon from College Park, and will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network.
Head coach Greg Schiano was a staple in the Scarlet Knights program for 10 years before leaving in 2012 to take a head coaching job in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons. Schiano then returned as the associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Ohio State, where the Buckeyes went 36-5 in his three years there.
The New Jersey native took home the 2006 National Coach of the Year award while at Rutgers in his first stint, and his return is a promising one for a team that has constantly found itself at the bottom of the Big Ten standings since joining the league in 2014.
“Having gone against Greg as an assistant since 2005, I have the utmost respect for how he prepares his team and the types of teams that he puts on the field,” Locksley said. “They play hard, they play tough, they’re relentless and pretty much have taken on the personality of their leader.”