Military Bowl preview: Marshall vs. Maryland
Marshall (9-4, 7-1 C-USA) vs. Maryland (7-5, 3-5 ACC)
December 27, 2:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Marshall Players to Watch:
RaKeem Cato, QB—One of the bigger arms in college football, Cato lead Marshall’s elite passing attack with 3,579 yards and 36 touchdowns while adding six scores on the ground.
Tommy Shuler, WR—By far Cato’s top target, Shuler has 97 receptions for 1,097 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s not necessarily a deep ball danger, but he’s one of the best at moving the chains.
Maryland Players to Watch:
C.J. Brown, QB—Brown’s return from the sideline has meant the world to the Maryland offense. With him healthy, the Terps are 7-2 and are scoring 32.6 points per game. Without him, they’re 1-2 and score 18.0.
Marcus Whitfield, LB—Whitfield enjoys time spent in the backfield, racking up 14.5 tackles for loss this season and 107 TFL yards (second in ACC). He also leads the team with 9.0 sacks.
Marshall Key to Victory:
Get to the red zone. Maryland has been an abomination in attempts to stop opponents from scoring touchdowns when inside the 20 (No. 111 nationally), and that’s one of Marshall’s biggest strengths. Cato has a knack for finding pay dirt (touchdown per 13.0 touches) and the Herd are No. 6 in the country with 48 touchdowns (eight field goals) in 61 red zone appearances.
Maryland Key to Victory:
Continue to find ways for C.J. Brown to run the ball. Maryland is 4-0 when Brown rushes for over 100 yards and 6-0 when he reaches the end zone by foot. As a whole, the Terrapins have been finding some success on the ground lately, and Marshall is coming off a game in which it allowed 248 yards to Rice.
Line: Marshall (-2.5)
Prediction: On paper, this game is a toss up. Either Marshall gets enough from its offense to overcome Maryland’s running game, or the latter becomes too overbearing. Although it’s considered a neutral site, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is in Annapolis (Md.) and a virtual home game for the Terps, so I’ll give them the slight edge.
Maryland 34, Marshall 33
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