PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Maryland has had an up and down start to the 2019 season -- as in, the Terps were up ... and now they're down. The Terps hope to settle the ship Saturday when they visit Rutgers in Big Ten action.
TV: Noon ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Maryland -13.5
In its first three games, Maryland rolled over Howard 79-0 and crushed a ranked Syracuse foe, 63-20, before absorbing a close loss to Temple. Last week, the Terps took on Penn State and were handed a 59-0 smacking that featured a 619-128 margin in total yards and nearly as many Maryland penalties (nine) as completed passes (11). "Right from the start we didn't give ourselves a chance, and for us, that was the disappointing part," first-year coach Mike Locksley said. Rutgers also was shut out in its last contest, absorbing a 52-0 defeat at Michigan, and the school responded by firing coach Chris Ash and offensive coordinator John McNulty.
ABOUT MARYLAND (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten)
Josh Jackson attempted 21 passes against Penn State for a total of 65 yards, including two interceptions, and also was sacked four times in the lopsided affair. Anthony McFarland Jr. also had his worst game of the season, managing just 24 rushing yards and not reaching the end zone after scoring five times in the first three outings. Four games into the season, Dontay Demus Jr. still leads the team with only 10 catches, and he too has been quiet since Week 1 (seven catches for 85 yards over the last three games).
ABOUT RUTGERS (1-3, 0-2)
Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile, in his second year on Rutgers' staff, will serve as the interim head coach for the rest of the season. "I would tell that you I've worked my entire life to prepare myself for this opportunity and to me, this is like the Holy Grail," said Campanile, a native of New Jersey. "But I understand there's a lot more that goes into that and that's way over my head. I'm just going to go do my job the best I can." Artur Sitkowski will start at quarterback once again Saturday, and he'll continue to lean on running backs Isaih Pacheco (team highs of 262 rushing yards and four TDs) and Raheem Blackshear (team highs of 29 catches for 310 yards).
1. Maryland plays three of its next four games on the road, beginning with Saturday's contest.
2. In his last two games, Jackson has thrown 59 passes and has not completed a pass longer than 22 yards.
3. Sitkowski was 2-of-16 for eight yards with four interceptions in last season's 34-7 loss to Maryland.
PREDICTION: Maryland 49, Rutgers 10