College Football Pick
By Jason Green
Maryland’s perfect season came to end with a loss in their last Game, but at home this Saturday they are a 6.5-point favorite facing Big 10 rival Minnesota. The Terrapins have played solid defense this season ranking tied for 23th in the nation giving up an average of 19.2 ppg, but in their loss in their last Game they gave up 38 points.
Minnesota had won their first 3 Games of the season before dropping their last 2. They played solid defense in their last Game, but their offense could only muster 7 points. The Golden Gophers have lost their only road Game this season.
In their last Game Minnesota was at home and fell to Iowa 14-7 where they failed to cover as a 2.5-point favorite. Maryland was a 2-point road favorite facing Penn State in their last Game and they came nowhere near covering losing 38-14.
Minnesota only had 262 yards of total offense in their loss to Iowa. They are led by their rushing offense, which ranks 39th in the nation in rushing yards per Game. They have 3 backs that have over 200 rushing yards led by Rodney Smith (446 yards 5 TD), but he only had 44 yards on the ground against Iowa. These guys are the main concern for the Terps, who only rank 77th in the nation in run defense and gave up 372 rushing yards in the bad loss to Penn State.
The Gophers need to run the ball, as that is not only their strength, but their passing offense is not a dynamic one and QB Mitch Leidner had 2 picks and 0 TD in the loss to Iowa and he has 4 INT and only 1 INT in his last 3 Games.
Maryland only had 270 yards total in the loss to Penn State and their bread and butter on the offensive side of the ball is on the ground. They rank a legit 9th in the nation in rushing yards per Game, but only 118th in passing yards per Game.
Minnesota ranks 37th in the nation in run defense and their main goal in this Game is to stop the Terps’ RB duo of Lorenzo Harrison and Ty Johnson, who had a terrible Game against Penn State to the tune of 11 yards after rushing for 204 in his previous Game, as both have at least 344 rushing yards on the season.
Minnesota is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 road Games, 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 Games overall, and in their last 5 Big 10 Games the posted total has gone Under 4 times.
Maryland is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games following a ATS loss, 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, and in their last 5 home Games the posted total has gone Under 4 times.
Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner is listed as doubtful for this Game, hence the line move from -3 to -6.5 in favor of Maryland. Despite that injury, we still ike the Gophers to put up a fight here. Minnesota +6.5