Maryland vs. Florida International 9/9/16 – Game Preview

florida-internationalMaryland Terrapins at FIU Panthers

When: Friday, Sept. 9

Where: FIU Stadium, Miami, Florida

Time: 7:30pmET

Line: Maryland -10

Total: 56

The Maryland Terrapins opened with a 52-13 win over FCS Howard from College Park last Saturday to open the D.J. Durkin era.

The Panthers of Florida were unsuccessful against another Big 10 team (Indiana) at home, when they fell 34-13 last Thursday. The Panthers fell at Maryland in their last meeting in 2013, 43-10. They’ll have the advantage of playing at home and having two extra days of rest.

Terps take it easy on Howard

Maryland was up 35-0 at the half in their opener against Howard and then decided to play mostly backups and scored just 17 points in the second half, while the Bison put up 13 points in the fourth quarter to cover the 50 points. Either way, it was a successful first game for Durkin, the former Michigan defensive coordinator, who takes over for Randy Edsall. This game was all Maryland and that’s the way it should be against an overwhelmed opponent. The Terps totaled 519 yards to 269 and six rushing touchdowns. Their three quarterbacks put the ball in the air just 20 times led by starter Perry Hills (14-of-19 for 126 yards). Virginia Tech transfer Trey Edmunds (6 carries for 48 yards) had one touchdown rushing and a 13-yard score on a blocked punt return. Six different Maryland running backs scored touchdowns. But the good news is that the Terps’ offense did not turn the ball over, which was a plus considering Hills was picked off 13 times last season with just 8 TD passes.

Defensively, Maryland really wasn’t tested, although if there is a slight concern, the fact they did not force a turnover. That probably won’t make new defensive coordinator Andy Buh very happy as he has just five days to prepare his team for an FBS squad. Maryland does have five starters back from last year’s squad, including middle linebacker Jermaine Carter, who led them in tackles last season with 103.

FIU gives one away against Indiana

Florida International was up 13-12 on Indiana going into the fourth quarter last Friday and then everything fell. apart. Quarterback Alex McGough was intercepted three times, including two for touchdowns. That was the first time in 50 years that Indiana had two interception returns for touchdowns in the same game. That wasn’t the only mistake the offense made as Indiana was awarded a safety when FIU was caught holding when McGough was trying to pass out of the end zone. That was unfortunate for the Panthers defense who ended up giving up just two offensive touchdowns and 17 of the 34 IU points. McGough wound up with 23 of 46 for 263 yards but no TDs. The Panthers couldn’t run the ball as Alex Gardner was held to just 23 yards on 10 attempts with a TD. Senior TE Jonnu Smith had a strong game with eight receptions for 83 yards. One of the few bright spots was the play of freshman wide receiver Stanley Thomas, who caught three passes for 913 yards.

Defensively, the Panthers did allow 486 yards and 26 first downs. They forced just one turnover (fumble) and allowed a junior college transfer in Richard Lago complete 18 of 27 for 240 yards and one TD. The key for this game will be the run defense that gave up 246 yards on the ground and struggled in allowing 185.1 yards per game rushing last season.

Betting Trends:

Maryland is:

  • 10-4 ATS last 4 following an ATS loss.

FIU is:

  • 0-4 ATS last 4 vs. Big Ten.
  • 0-3-1 ATS last 4 following a SU loss of more than 20 points.

The Maryland Terrapins have a lot more enthusiasm under a new coach and an offensive line that can pave the way for a rejuvenated running game. They didn’t answer all the questions at quarterback in the last game because they didn’t have to. Even though McGough likely won’t throw two pick sixes again, he’s facing an even tougher secondary than Indiana’s led by senior Will Likely.

Our Pick: Maryland -10