Minnesota at Maryland Preview | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

There are three college football games around the country on Friday – the only sport going that night – and the lone one from a Power 5 Conference is Minnesota visiting Maryland in the Big Ten. The Gophers are heavy favorites on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Minnesota at Maryland NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Minnesota -19.5 (total 61)

Last Meeting

The teams are in different divisions so they don’t play every year. They did in 2019, though, in the Twin Cities and the Gophers rolled 52-10. Seth Green had two touchdown runs and Tanner Morgan was 12-of-21 passing for 138 yards and two touchdowns. The Gophers held a 42:53-17:07 advantage in time of possession. Then-Maryland starting QB Tyrrell Pigrome was injured late in the first half. He was helped off the field favoring his left leg. Javon Leake had a team-high 44 rushing yards and Maryland was held to 79 yards rushing as a team.

Maryland has faced Minnesota the most of any Big Ten West opponent since joining the Big Ten in 2014, playing the Gophers in each of the past five seasons. The Terps lead 3-2. The Gophers are 1-1 all-time at Maryland, having won there in 2016.

Why Bet on Minnesota? | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

The Gophers were ranked 21st in the AP Top 25 but fell out after being dominated at home by then-No. 18 Michigan last week 49-24. The Wolverines rushed for 258 yards. Zach Charbonnet had a 70-yard scoring run in the first quarter to set the tone for Michigan’s dominance on offense, one of five rushing touchdowns. Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan passed for 188 yards and a touchdown, with two turnovers and was sacked five times.

Morgan dropped to 15-5 as a starting QB. Since 1975, no Minnesota QB has begun his career with a better record as a starter. Morgan’s career winning percentage (.750) is the highest for any Gophers QB with 10 or more starts. His 4,851 career passing yards now rank eighth all-time at Minnesota, and his 40 career passing TDs is tied for fourth all-time.

Rashod Bateman had a team-leading nine catches for 101 yards, becoming the eighth Minnesota receiver to reach 2,000 career receiving yards. Bateman has 120 catches for 2,024 yards and 17 TDs in 27 games. Bateman has at least one reception in all 27 career games, and has now recorded eight career 100-yard games, which ties for fifth all-time with Ron Johnson (1998-2001).

Mohamed Ibrahim led the Gophers with 26 carries for 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while also catching a career-high four passes for 17 yards. It was Ibrahim’s seventh career 100-yard game, and his second game in a row with 140 yards. The Gophers led in time of possession, 35:09 to 24:51.

Ibrahim is 96 yards shy of becoming the 17th Gopher all-time to reach 2,000 career rushing yards. He also needs two more rushing touchdowns to rank tied for 12th in school history with 20 rushing touchdowns (Shannon Brooks, David Cobb, Jim Carter, Paul Giel, Billy Bye and Shorty Almquist all ended their careers with 20 rushing touchdowns).

Bateman has 10 catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns in two career games against Maryland (first career TD came at Maryland in 2018). He is 31 receiving yards shy of moving into seventh place in school history all-time in yardage. Bateman now has 120 career receptions for 2,024 yards.

Why Bet on Maryland? | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

The Terps were crushed 43-3 at Northwestern last week. The Terps scored on their first drive of the game off a Joseph Petrino 33-yard field goal after a 12 play, 56-yard drive that saw Alabama transfer Taulia Tagovailoa go 6-for-7 for 36 yards. That would be it, though. In his first game back after missing the 2019 season due to an ACL injury, Jeshaun Jones tallied five receptions for 41 yards.

Tagovailoa completed 14-of-25 passes for 94 yards with three interceptions in the loss. Tagovailoa was named the starter ahead of Lance LeGendre for Saturday’s opener, and it was a disaster. He was pulled for LeGendre late but Tagovailoa will start here.

“He had opportunities to execute and I thought the first drive, he did a good job,” coach Mike Locksley said. “Obviously, this is still his first career start in college, and so he made some mistakes. He threw the ball into double coverage, maybe threw the ball down the field on a short situation where we’d like him to take a higher-percentage throw and make a better decision there. But, you know, for the most part, I thought that he didn’t show signs of being uncomfortable.”

Maryland is one of only seven teams in the FBS (Colorado State, Houston, Iowa, Navy, North Carolina, Troy) that returns its top five pass catchers by yards to its roster from last season.

This will be Maryland’s homecoming game and the first time in program history that the Terps will host their homecoming game on the first home game of the season. Maryland has won 62-percent of its homecoming games all-time, a 58-35-4 record. The Terps have won in three of the past four years on homecoming, defeating Purdue in 2016, Indiana in 2017 and Rutgers in 2018 before falling to Michigan last season. Minnesota will be the 29th different opponent Maryland will welcome on its homecoming.

Maryland has won 19 of its past 21 home openers, only dropping the game in 2006 and 2018. Over that span, the Terps have opened up the home slate against a conference foe two times, defeating Miami in 2011 and North Carolina in 2001. This is the first time that Maryland will ever open up its home schedule against a Big Ten opponent.

Game Trends

  • Golden Gophers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
  • Golden Gophers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in October.
  • Golden Gophers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a road favorite.
  • Terrapins are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games as an underdog.
  • Terrapins are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 conference games.

Expert Prediction

Minnesota 34, Maryland 19


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