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Game Preview: Maryland at #22 MSU

Maryland Athletics
11-14-2017
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Maryland (4-6, 2-5 B1G)
Maryland at Michigan State
#22 MSU (7-3, 5-2 B1G)
Nov. 18, 2017 || Spartan Stadium || 4:00 pm ET

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

- The Maryland football team is set to return to East Lansing, Mich., for just the second time as Big Ten foes when it takes on No. 22 Michigan State Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium. Scheduled for a 4 pm kickoff, the game will air live on FOX with Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman and Holly Sonders on the call.

- The Terps are looking to win back-to-back games against Michigan State for the first time in their history after defeating the Spartans last season, 28-17. Maryland trailed Michigan State, 17-14, heading into the fourth quarter, before quarterback Perry Hills led touchdown drives of eight and 10 plays to secure the win. The Terps totaled 247 rushing yards in the win, as Ty Johnson (115) and Lorenzo Harrison (105) each eclipsed the 100-yard mark.

- Maryland has played the second-toughest schedule to date with its opponents posting a .662 win percentage, and is on pace to play the toughest schedule in the country with its cumulative opposition currently posting a 66-31 record (.680). Maryland closes its regular season with three straight opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top-25.

- Due to various injuries, Maryland started its fourth different quarterback of the season against Michigan last weekend when Ryan Brand lined up under center. Brand connected well with Taivon Jacobs, who totaled 92 yards and a career-high eight catches. Maryland and Michigan are the only programs in the country to win at least one game with three different starting quarterbacks this season (Pigrome, Hill, Bortenschlager).

- Junior DJ Moore, who currently leads the Big Ten Conference with 64 receptions, needs 14 catches to break the single-season Maryland record for receptions set in 1994 by Geroy Simon (77). Moore is currently averaging 6.4 catches per game and is within striking distance of the record. Moore, who also leads the conference in TD catches (8) and reception yards (857), has caught a pass from four different quarterbacks in 2017.

- Junior running back Ty Johnson posted 67 rushing yards against Michigan to become the 13th player in Maryland history to eclipse 2,000 career rushing yards. Johnson also hit another major milestone in the game, surpassing 3,000 career all-purpose yards to move into 12th all-time in the category (3,082).

BY THE NUMBERS: OFFENSE

1 - Detroit, Mich., native Ryan Brand made his first career collegiate start last Saturday against Michigan, becoming the fourth Maryland quarterback to start a game this season. Brand, who started the season fifth on Maryland’s quarterback depth chart, completed 16-of-35 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown in the game.

3 - Maryland is one of four programs to win a game with three different starting quarterbacks this season, including Michigan, Louisiana-Lafayette and Houston. Quarterbacks Tyrrell Pigrome (Texas), Kasim Hill (Towson) and Max Bortenschlager (Minnesota, Indiana) have each won games this year for the Terps, with Bortenschlager throwing 10 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

4 - Senior wide receiver Taivon Jacobs has been on fire in recent weeks, scoring a touchdown in four of his last five games. Jacobs’ last two weeks are even more impressive, totaling 15 catches for 189 yards. It has been a spectacular season for Jacobs, who has posted single-season career-highs in yards (482), receptions (40) and touchdowns (5). Jacobs’ brother, Levern, finished his career seventh in history with 130 catches, but never had five touchdown catches in a season.

4 - Sophomore running back Lorenzo Harrison has rushed for at least 60 yards in four consecutive weeks, including a season-high 81 yards last weekend against Michigan. Harrison has totaled 272 rushing yards over his last four games (5.3 yds/c) after posting just 240 yards in the first six weeks to open the season.

7 - Junior DJ Moore moved into a tie for seventh in Maryland single-season history with Levern Jacobs (130) after hauling in five passes against Michigan. Moore is in range of the single-season reception mark of 77 held by Geroy Simon since 1994. Moore currently ranks sixth in program single-season history with 64 receptions after passing Stefon Diggs’ mark of 62 set in 2014. Moore has received a catch from four different quarterbacks this season, and eight in his career.

8 - Junior DJ Moore is currently tied for the Big Ten Conference lead with eight touchdown catches. His eight touchdown catches (with three different quarterbacks) is tied for fourth-most in a single-season in program history with Dan Bungori (1971). Current Philadelphia Eagles receiver Torrey Smith is the all-time leader with 12. Moore also ranks fourth in Maryland history with 17 career touchdown receptions.

10 - Despite the injury issues at quarterback, the Maryland offense has been fortunate to be consistent at every other offensive position in 2017. Outside of quarterback, the Terps have started the same 10 players on offense in every game. Seven of those 10 players have started at least 15 games in their career.

11 - The Terps have done well taking care of the ball in 2017, turning the ball over just 11 times through 10 games despite starting four different quarterbacks due to injury. Maryland’s +4 turnover margin ranks second in the Big Ten Conference. Last season, Maryland committed 19 turnovers in 13 games and had a -7 turnover margin.

31 - Wide receiver DJ Moore currently leads the Big Ten Conference with a reception in 31 straight games. Remarkably, Moore has received a pass from eight different quarterbacks during the streak due to various injuries. The mark is the 14th-longest streak in the nation.

BY THE NUMBERS: DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

0.40 - The Terps rank second in the Big Ten Conference with a +0.40/g turnover margin (+4), having lost the turnover battle in just two of 10 games. Overall, the Terps have intercepted 10 passes and forced 11 fumbles (five lost) against just eight interceptions and three lost fumbles (15-10). Last season, the Terps lost the turnover battle, 19-12, over the course of 13 games.

4 - The Maryland defense is a perfect 4-0 this season when holding its opponents under 100 rushing yards (Texas, Towson, Minnesota, Indiana). Statisically, the Terps have improved immensely in the run defense category, from allowing 214.8 rushing yards/g in 2016 to 173.3/g in 2017.

6 - Senior Jermaine Carter, Jr. has totaled 6.0 tackles for loss this season, including 2.0 TFLs in the win over Indiana recently. Carter now has 29.0 tackles for loss in his career, which ranks 13th in program history. Carter needs 3.0 more TFLs to crack Maryland’s top-10 in the category. Carter has also forced three fumbles this season, which is tied for the lead in the Big Ten. It marks the most forced fumbles in a season for a Maryland player since current Pittsburgh Steeler Sean Davis had five in 2015.

8 - Senior linebacker Jermaine Carter, Jr. totaled eight tackles against Michigan (11/11) to surpass 300 career tackles, becoming the first Terp to achieve the feat since Demetrius Hartsfield had 339 from 2009-12. Carter currently leads the team with 67 tackles. He is looking to become just the fifth Maryland player to lead the team in tackles in three consecutive seasons 1969, joining Alex Wujciak (2008-10), D’Qwell Jackson (2003-05), E.J. Henderson (2000-02) and Ratcliff Thomas (1993-95).

8.5 - Sophomore Antoine Brooks, Jr. has been fantastic for the Terps on defense in his second season, leading the team in tackles for loss (8.5) and rankings second in tackles (64). Brooks has starred at the nickelback position all season and has had a penchant for making big plays, including his blocked field goal touchdown return against Texas in the season-opener.

10 - Maryland’s special teams unit is now ranked 10th in the country and ranks second in the Big Ten Conference with a 68.8 efficiency rating according to ESPN. Maryland currently leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth nationally with four blocked kicks this season. The Terps also rank in the top-3 in the Big Ten in both punt return average (11.8/r) and kick return average (23.6/r).

10 - The Maryland defense has caught 10 interceptions this season, with Antoine Brooks, Jr. recording the most recent against Rutgers two weekends ago. Brooks now has two picks on the season. The Terps are on pace to total their most interceptions in a season since notching 19 in the 2010 season.

60 - The Maryland has allowed just 60 points in first quarter action this season, holding opponents to an average of 6.0 points in the frame. In total, the Terps have actually outscored opponents in the first quarter, 73-60.

557 - Junior Ty Johnson currently ranks second in the Big Ten Conference with 557 total kick return yards. Johnson has largely been avoided as of late, returning just three kicks in the past four games. Johnson’s returning prowess was highlighted by a 100-yard kickoff return against then-No. 10 Ohio State. The star running back has done it all for the Terps, ranking third in the Big Ten with 138.7 all-purpose yards/g. He currently ranks 12th in Maryland history with 3,082 career all-purpose yards.

-TERPS-

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