MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – No. 16 Minnesota looks to keep its perfect record intact when it hosts Maryland in Big Ten play on Saturday. The Golden Gophers have won seven consecutive games, including a 42-7 rout of Rutgers in Week 8, to take sole possession of first place in the Big Ten West Division, and hope to improve to 8-0 for the first time since 1941 by avenging a 42-13 loss to the Terrapins last season.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Minnesota -17
"You just have to bring your best every Saturday," Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan told reporters. "Play to the best of your ability no matter who your opponents are as you never know what can happen in this conference on any given Saturday." Maryland is heading in the wrong direction following a 34-28 home loss to Indiana last Saturday. The Terrapins have dropped four of their last five games since a 2-0 start to fall below .500 and hope to salvage a season that is spinning out of control by beginning a three-game gauntlet against ranked teams with an upset in Minneapolis. "They're undefeated and how they've played and who they've played doesn't really matter," Maryland coach Michael Locksley told reporters. "They're playing with a great amount of confidence because they've won the close games that we haven't."
ABOUT MARYLAND (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten)
Tyrrell Pigrome completed 17-of-27 passes for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Indiana in his second straight start with Josh Jackson out with a high ankle sprain. Jackson is expected to return to the starting lineup after suffering the injury on Oct. 5 while running back Anthony McFarland Jr. is also slated to play after sitting out the loss to the Hoosiers with an ankle problem. Offensive linemen Marcus Minor (toe) and Johnny Jordan (foot) are both questionable for Saturday while defensive back Marcus Lewis will be a game-time decision after suffering a lower-body injury.
ABOUT MINNESOTA (7-0, 4-0)
Morgan threw for 245 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Rodney Smith added 116 rushing yards and two scores as the Golden Gophers extended their winning streak to nine games, which is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. Linebacker Kamal Martin, who leads the team with 46 tackles, hurt his leg in the third quarter, but the injury was not as severe as initially feared and he will be a game-time decision on Saturday. Tight ends Ko Kieft and Jake Paulson will return to the lineup after missing the previous game with unspecified injuries.
1. Minnesota has won 11 of its last 13 games dating back to last season.
2. Maryland has forced a turnover in 19 straight games, which is the second-longest streak in the nation.
3. The Golden Gophers have held five straight opponents to fewer than 300 yards.
PREDICTION: Minnesota 38, Maryland 20