Maryland is set to make its first trip to Madison since 2014 as it faces the Wisconsin Badgers Saturday at Noon EST at Camp Randall Stadium.
Maryland is coming off a 21-37 loss to Northwestern last weekend, but despite being on their third QB of the season, the Terps show plenty of upside in their matchup against the #5 Badgers.
It’s impossible to talk about the progress of Durkin’s Terps without starting with the latest star wide receiver to come of age in College Park, junior wideout DJ Moore.
Moore went off against Northwestern, posting career-highs in catches (12) and receiving yards (210) while scoring two touchdowns. No Terp has had a better day catching the ball since Torrey Smith had 224 yards against NC State in 2010. Moore leads the Big10 in just about every way possible with 7.3 receptions per game, 104 YPG, 624 total yards and 7 touchdowns. Not to mention, he has done it all with three different QB’s.
Speaking of QB’s, sophomore quarterback Max Bortenschlager has yet to throw an interception in each of his three starts. Bortenschlager has thrown 83 straight passes without an interception dating back to Sept. 23 against UCF. Bortenschlager is the third Terp QB to win a game this season (Pigrome-Texas, Hill-Towson). His 255 yards and 3 touchdown passes last week were both career highs.
And then there is Junior running back Ty Johnson. Johnson recorded his first career kick return touchdown with a spectacular 100-yard return down the sideline against the Buckeyes last weekend. Johnson finished the game with 189 kick return yards and totaled a career-high 246 all-purpose yards in the effort. He ranks seventh nationally and third in the Big Ten averaging 166.7 all-purpose yards per game.
Wisconsin is undefeated and is coming into the game having beat Purdue 17-9. The Badgers are seeking their first 7-0 start since 2004. The last time Maryland played Wisconsin was in 2015 when the Badgers beat the Terps 31-24.
Freshman RB Jonathan Taylor was named Big10 Freshman of the week for the third time in six games this season after a 219-yard rushing performance against Purdue. This was his second straight 200-yard game and his third time this season. Taylor leads the Big Ten in rushing and ranks No. 3 nationally, at 164.3 yards per game. He also has scored a league-high 10 rushing TDs. Taylor leads all FBS freshmen in both categories. At 986 yards, Taylor needs 14 yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark. Doing so Saturday would match the FBS record for fewest games needed to reach 1,000 yards by a freshman (7).
Taylor also has scored a league-high 10 rushing TDs. Taylor leads all FBS freshmen in both categories. At 986 yards, Taylor needs 14 yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark. Doing so Saturday would match the FBS record for fewest games needed to reach 1,000 yards by a freshman (7).
Defensively, Wisconsin is equally as threatening, especially when it matters. Opposing offenses have scored just 2 touchdowns on the Badgers’ defense in the second half this season, with both offensive TDs scored by Northwestern on Sept. 30.
Through 6 games, the Badgers have allowed only 100 rushing yards on 68 second-half
carries. That’s an average of just 1.5 yards per carry and 16.7 yards per game. Of those 100 rushing yards allowed, 26 came on 1 play, a fourth-quarter run vs. Florida Atlantic.
UW’s opportunistic defense has outscored opposing offenses 18-17 in the second half
of games, with interception return TDs vs. Utah State (Joe Ferguson) and Northwestern
(Natrell Jamerson) and safeties against BYU (Mike Maskalunas sack) and Northwestern
(D’Cota Dixon sack).