Maryland @


Fri, Sep 17
6:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 107
Odds: Illinois +7, Total: 61

Game Analysis

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Maryland (-7)  35   ILLINOIS  24

Maryland was just 2-3 last season and were outscored by 8.4 points per game, but the Terrapins were actually a pretty good team. The Terps averaged 6.6 yards per play and allowed just 5.4 yppl in 2020 but were derailed by a -1.4 turnover margin per game, a -3.8% 3rd down conversion differential and a randomly bad redzone efficiency differential of 4.0 points per redzone to 5.0 pprz allowed. The 3rd down and PPRZ numbers shouldn’t be that negative for a team that outgained their opponents by 1.2 yppl and had a 61.6% to 56.4% completion percentage differential. Overall, Maryland had a line of scrimmage rating of +8.4 points per game (adjusted for schedule strength) despite a -17.4 total plays per game differential.

Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa showed why he was a top recruit (played at Alabama his freshman year) by averaging 7.0 yards per pass play (against teams that would allow 5.2 yppp to an average QB) and he should improve upon his high interception rate (7 picks in 122 pass attempts) this season. All of Maryland’s receivers are back the Terps’ aerial attack has averaged over 300 yard at 9.1 yards per pass play in their first two games, including 311 yards at 8.2 yppp against a good West Virginia defense. The rushing attack has been worse than average so far without Jake Funk, who averaged 74 rushing yards per game at a ridiculous 8.6 yards per rush last season. Overall, isn’t as good as it was in their 5 games last season, as it will be impossible to replace Funk’s 8.6 ypr, but I also don’t expect 2.2 offensive turnovers per game this season and thus far they’ve been flawless in that regard.

Maryland’s mostly inexperienced defense (just 4 returning starters last season) allowed only 4.6 yppl over their final 3 games (vs Penn State, Indiana, and Rutgers) after giving up 87 points and 6.7 yppl in their first two games to Northwestern and Minnesota and 9 starters return to a unit that ended up rating at 0.2 yppl better than average. I rated the Terps’ stop unit at 0.3 yppl better than average entering this season and they’ve played at that level thus far.

Illinois started the season with a deceptive upset win over Nebraska in which they were outgained by nearly 100 yards and by 4.9 yards per play to 5.8 yppl. Since then, the Illini were upset by UTSA and beaten 14-42 by Virginia last week. Brandon Peters returns at quarterback this week after being knocked out in game 1. Peters should help the rushing attack if he trusts the health of his injured shoulder to subject it to hits while scrambling but Peters has been 0.9 yards per pass play worse than average the last two seasons (5.4 yppp against teams against teams that would allow 6.3 yppp to an average quarterback), which is about the same level that backup Sitkowski was playing at in his place.

Maryland is a much better team than Illinois and my ratings favor the Terrapins by 8.5 points in this game. I’ll add a few points because the Terps apply to a 58-6-1 ATS subset of a 143-56-6 ATS momentum situation that is based on their good early season play thus far.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Maryland
  • Illinois


  • Run Plays 43.5 18.0
  • Run Yards 213.5 75.5
  • YPRP 4.9 4.2


  • Pass Comp 26.5 18.0
  • Pass Att 34.0 35.5
  • Comp % 77.9% 50.7%
  • Pass Yards 339.5 179.5
  • Sacks 1.5 2.5
  • Sack Yards 15.5 18.5
  • Sack % 4.2% 6.6%
  • Pass Plays 35.5 38.0
  • Net Pass Yards 324.0 161.0
  • YPPP 9.1 4.2


  • Total Plays 79.0 56.0
  • Total Yards 537.5 236.5
  • YPPL 6.8 4.2


  • Int 0.0 1.5
  • Int % 0.0% 4.2%
  • Fumbles 0.0 1.0
  • Turnovers 0.0 2.5
  • Points 46.0 12.0
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