The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Maryland Terrapins are scheduled to get Week 2 in the Big Ten underway at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. This isn’t the most glamorous matchup, but the best out of the three college games scheduled tonight. In more action around the country, East Carolina and Tulsa are in Oklahoma, while Hawaii and Wyoming meet in Wyoming.
If you’re not a fan of small conference football, then Minnesota and Maryland are going to provide an outlet on a quiet sports night. It’s all college football over the next two days. There isn’t anything else on with baseball, hockey, and basketball all in the offseason in North America. NFL football will certainly dominate the betting handle on Sunday.
Minnesota and Maryland is going to be the king of Friday night, though. The Golden Gophers and Terrapins are both coming off disappointing performances last week. I’d have to say that Minnesota at home was more disappointing. Maryland is not expected to compete in the Big Ten this season, but there were some expectations for Minnesota against Michigan.
Minnesota started off hot with a touchdown to open the game, though Michigan came right back seconds later and the game was tied. Minnesota failed to keep the game close and they suffered a 49-24. It wasn’t even close in the second half, as Joe Milton directed the Wolverines down the field often.
Minnesota catches a break in Week 2 of the Big Ten. With Maryland on the schedule, this should be a nice bounce-back opportunity for them. Maryland were 43-3 losers in an embarrassing performance against Northwestern to open the season. I noted that the Minnesota loss was worse simply because Maryland is expected to be a bottom feeder in the Big Ten.
Rutgers looked fine against Michigan State last week, so the Terrapins could be in danger of being the worst in the conference. I think we’ll learn a lot about Maryland on Friday night in College Park. Even if Minnesota beats Maryland handedly, that’s not going to move the meter much. Head below for our free Minnesota vs. Maryland pick for October 30, 2020.
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Maryland Terrapins Betting Odds:
Minnesota vs. Maryland Prediction:
The defense needs a game to get into the flow of things after getting torched by Michigan last week. They are better than what we saw on display last week. Expect Minnesota to respond with a solid performance versus an inept Maryland offense on Friday night. Maryland were useless against Northwestern in Week 1 of the Big Ten schedule.
One week isn’t a big enough sample size to judge any team by, but I had Maryland as a bad offense prior to their performance last week. Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa, the brother of Tua, had a rough college debut last week. Just because they have the same name, don’t expect similar production. Taulia transferred from Alabama to Maryland after it was abundantly clear that it was going to be difficult to get playing time.
I’m not saying he’s going to be as bad as last week consistently, but just don’t think he’s the same as his brother because of the name. Taulia passed for 94 yards on 14 for 25 passing and 3 interception. He did not throw a touchdown. He is going to have much better games than that in his future, but there could be more growing pains tonight.
Tanner Morgan played a secondary role behind running back Mohamed Ibrahim in the offense last week. Ibrahim galloped for 140 yards on 5.4 yards per carry for 2 touchdowns. That was against an impressive Michigan defense. Now he gets a chance against a bad Maryland defense on Friday night. What’s going to happen? I’m expecting a monster day for him and the Minnesota ground game. Drake Anderson ran for 103 yards on 10.3 yards per carry and a touchdown on Northwestern last week.
In all, there were six different Wildcat runners that gained at least 6.7 yards per carry versus the Maryland defense. Northwestern ran for 325 yards in total. I suspect this is where Maryland is going to run into problems tonight. Look for Minnesota to pull away from Maryland behind Ibrahim and the play action. Conversely, after a dreadful performance against Michigan, expect head coach P.J. Fleck to have his defense ready to go in a bounce-back spot.