Get to Know the Big Ten: Maryland

This season is one to forget for any Maryland football fan. With a 2-7 record and currently sixth in the Big Ten East, the Terrapins started off the season with a big victory over the Richmond Spiders, but since – it has been long, and painful.

However, it hasn’t been all bad news for the Terps. Maryland is the only team in the country with two players that have recorded at least 6.5 sacks this season. Yannick Ngakoue and Quinton Jefferson have 11 and 6.5 sacks, respectively.

Not only does this electric tandem put an enormous amount of pressure on the quarterback, but the two defensive linemen fly from sideline to sideline making plays. They are the first Maryland duo to record at least 10.5 tackles for loss in a single season since 2004.

The numbers do not end there.

Ngakoue became the first Terrapin since 1985 to total 11 sacks in a season. And the junior needs two sacks to become the single-season sack leader in Maryland history.

Also, Ngakoue’s 11 sacks are second in the nation behind Penn State’s Carl Nassib.

The Terps’ schedule has been a large part of their woes this campaign. Michigan State is the fifth Associated Press Top 25 opponent in Maryland’s last six games. Four of those teams are currently in the top 15. Those six squads have a total record of 48-8.

After their Week 3 win against South Florida, Maryland had to travel to Morgantown and play West Virginia in a difficult environment. After their loss to the Mountaineers, the Terrapins hosted the Michigan Wolverines, and then traveled to the defending national champs’ house in Columbus to play the Ohio State Buckeyes.

By the end of the three-game swing, Maryland was outscored by a total of 122-34.

Offensively, Maryland has struggled to put up points since their 50-21 victory over the Spiders in Week 1.

However, the Terrapins have one of the biggest offensive lines in the country. Weighing at an average of 308.5 pounds, Maryland’s line ranks first in the Big Ten East Division and second overall, behind Wisconsin.

It has been 65 years since Maryland visited East Lansing. At the time the Spartans were second in the country. The Terrapins defeated Michigan State in that meeting 34-7.

Michigan State entered that game having just defeated the top-ranked Michigan Wolverines the week before 14-7. The victory was the first time the Spartans marched over their rivals in thirteen years, and the hangover carried over into their matchup against Maryland.

The Spartans finished the season with that one loss, missing an opportunity to play for the national title.

Kickoff is set for noon Saturday between Maryland and the No. 14 Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium.