Already bowl eligible, visiting Maryland might be in its best position to record a first victory over Wisconsin on Saturday at Madison, Wisc.
In their most recent outings, Maryland (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) defeated Northwestern 31-24 while Wisconsin (4-4, 2-3) upended Purdue 35-24. Each team enters off a bye week.
“We’re 6-2 but still aren’t playing our best football,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said. “And to me, that’s kind of the encouraging thing for us, to be 6-2 at kind of the midway point for us.”
The Badgers are 3-0 all-time against Maryland, including a 38-13 win in Madison in 2017 in the most recent meeting.
This season, Wisconsin has yet to win two consecutive games. The Badgers are 2-1 under interim coach Jim Leonhard, who was promoted from defensive coordinator to interim head coach after Paul Chryst was fired the day after a 34-10 home loss to Illinois on Oct. 1.
Leonhard said this week that he believes he’s ready for the permanent coaching position.
“I know I’m capable of it,” he said. “I would be excited for the opportunity. It’s fun to get the chance to really affect some change this season and see what we can get done, knowing that a lot of the big changes that would have to happen are really coming after the season if I were to get this position.”
Wisconsin and Maryland are similar statistically. Each has outscored its opponent by about 10 points per game, with Wisconsin averaging 31.8 points and allowing 21.9, while the Terps average 34.1 and give up 24.1.
Maryland averages 455.0 yards per game, 28th best in the nation, and allows 380.2. The Badgers average 389.9 on offense and give up 342.9.
Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who missed the Northwestern game, has thrown for 2,001 yards this season, completing 72.5 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. Rakim Jarrett has 33 receptions for 371 yards and three TDs.
Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz has nine touchdown passes and only one interception in his past three games. Overall, he has completed 119 of 188 passes for 1,630 yards and 17 TDs, with six interceptions.
Braelon Allen needs 130 yards to reach 1,000 rushing yards this season. He averages 5.8 yards a carry.
–Field Level Media