Maryland Terrapins vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Date and Time: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
Opening College Football Odds: Wisconsin -24
Maryland vs. Wisconsin TV Coverage: FOX
If you don't know the name, Jonathan Taylor right now, you're surely going to after Saturday is said and done with. The freshman has been an absolute beast this year for the Badgers, running for 986 yards and 10 touchdowns in six games in 2017.
Taylor hasn't had much in the way of help from Alex Hornibrook and the Wisconsin passing game, but that has been the story for the most part for all of the great running backs that have come through Madison in the last decade.
The good news in this one is that Maryland's run defense is putrid. The Terrapins rank No. 82 against the rush this year, and though that's a lot better than their No. 108 ranking against the pass, the former problem is setting up the latter problem, not vice versa.
The Terrapins are definitely trending in the right direction under new coach D.J. Durkin, though. They'll be able to hang their hats on a 51-41 win in Austin in Week 1 of the year, and their triumph at Minnesota as double-digit dogs gives them two really quality results.
The loss to UCF looked damning at the time, but the Knights are now 6-0 and ranked in the top 20 in the land. Losing by 48 at Ohio State was a horrible result, and last week's 37-21 defeat at home to Northwestern wasn't great either.
392 – The number of rushing yards opposing running backs have amassed against the Maryland defense over the course of the last two weeks.
We told you it wasn't pretty.
Granted, the idea of trying to slow down Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins for Ohio State and Justin Jackson for Northwestern would be terrifying for a lot of teams in America, but this is just too many rushing yards to be conceding in two games. It would be one thing if that included quarterback rushes as well, but we aren't even barking up that tree since Hornibrook is a statue in the pocket.
Wisconsin is what it is, and it is going to line up 30-35 times at minimum and ram the ball right up the gut. Can the Terrapins stop it? They sure haven't been successful in doing so these last two games.
Maryland vs. Wisconsin Free Picks
You wouldn't know that Max Bortenschlager is starting to look a little more comfortable under center for the Terrapins based on recent results, but the general consensus is that he's as good as a quarterback as we've seen in College Park in years. He'll need some work in terms of improving his completion percentage, but it isn't going to take much to cover a number like this against a team that tries to play as fast of a game as possible.
There's still an immediate amount of talent on this Maryland team. Ty Johnson is one of the more underrated running backs in the Big Ten, and D.J. Moore leads this team with eight total touchdowns and is a threat to take one to the house every time he touches the ball.
These Badgers are going to be more and more vulnerable with each passing game they win this season. This could be one of these big struggles that none of the top online sportsbooks expect to see.
College Football ATS Pick: Maryland +24 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Wisconsin 27, Maryland 17