A vaunted defense and quarterback star are set for a big showdown on Friday night as Maryland host the Iowa No.5 in a prime-time showdown between the undefeated Big Ten teams. The Terrapins get a strong start behind overtaking Taulia Tagovailoa as he quickly climbs the Heisman charts, but they will be greatly tested by an Iowa defense that is the third-best nationally in yards allowed. per game.
The last time these teams met was in 2018 when the Hawkeyes shut out Maryland 23-0 as the Terrapins generated just 115 total yards with just 47 in the air. But when Maryland coach Mike Locksley arrived from Alabama ahead of the 2019 season, the former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator brought some offense with him. Tagovailoa transferred from Alabama for the 2020 season, and now in his second year as a starter has led the program to his first 4-0 start since 2016.
However, Maryland haven’t recorded a record for winning the Big Ten game since joining the league for the 2014 season, and Iowa looks like a team capable of fighting for a conference title. With a trip to Ohio State No.11 next week, the Terrapins are about to find out just how strong they really are.
Iowa vs. Maryland: need to know
Turnover is the lifeblood of Iowa: Iowa is tied for second nationally in turnovers points with 51 in four games and tied for first in defensive touchdowns with three. Takeout supported the Hawkeyes. They trailed Colorado State 14-7 in the third quarter last week before Yahya Black forced a fumble that Jack Campbell fell on the Rams’ 6-yard line. Iowa scored on the next play and never gave up the momentum en route to a 24-14 victory.
The rising celebrity of Taulia Tagovailoa: Former Alabama star and current Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s younger brother is making a name for himself in the same role. The former four-star prospect leads the Big Ten with 1,340 passing yards and a 75.5% completion score. After throwing seven interceptions in four games last season, he has thrown just one in four this year. His favorite target is senior receiver Dontay Demus, a 6-foot-4 senior who ranks second in the league with 446 receiving yards.
Iowa in rare air: In its 23rd season under coach Kirk Ferentz, Iowa has been one of the most consistent teams in the country this century. But this is the first time since 2002 that the Hawkeyes have spent three straight weeks in the top five of the Top 25 AP. The 2015 team, which played in the Rose Bowl, reached No.3 late in the season and spent two weeks in the top five before dropping to No.6 after a loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game. Wins in the first two weeks of this season over So-No. 17 Indiana and then-No. 9 Iowa State put the Hawkeyes into the top five earlier than ever under Ferentz.
How to watch Iowa vs. Maryland live
Dated: Friday October 1 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Site: Maryland Stadium – College Park, Maryland
TV: FS1 | Direct: fuboTV (Try for free)
Prediction Iowa vs Maryland, pick
Featured Game | Maryland Terrapins vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa will eventually need more of their offense if they are to win a Big Ten title and compete for a place in the college football playoffs, but the Hawkeyes’ defense is elite enough to lead the team to a victory here. This Iowa squad isn’t the type to allow wasted time landings, so they should cover that gap. Prediction: Iowa (-3.5)
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