Maryland (5-2) at Wisconsin (4-2) (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Camp Randall Stadium (80,321) -- Madison, Wisconsin. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Maryland 2-2, Wisconsin 4-0. Away Record: Maryland 3-0, Wisconsin 0-1. Neutral Record: Maryland 0-0, Wisconsin 0-1. Conference Record: Maryland 2-1, Wisconsin 1-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Maryland Terrapins take aim at bowl eligibility on Saturday afternoon when they pay a visit to Camp Randall Stadium for their first-ever Big Ten Conference clash with the Wisconsin Badgers.
Maryland rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Iowa at home last week, 38-31. That victory was the team's third in the last four games, with the lone loss in that span coming against nationally-ranked Ohio State. The Terrapins have been road warriors, as they enter this tilt seeking their sixth straight road win dating back to last year.
However, that will not come easily against a well-rested Wisconsin team that was idle last week. The Badgers are also a perfect 4-0 at home this season. They took down Illinois by a 38-28 final in Madison prior to the bye.
This tilt marks the first-ever meeting between these programs, as Maryland is in its first season as a member of the Big Ten.
Maryland's offense has put up 24 points or more in seven straight games, a school record to start a season. The Terps are fourth in the conference in scoring with an average of 35.1 ppg, which is also their best scoring average since 2001.
Dual-threat quarterback C.J. Brown has been a big catalyst. He ran for 99 yards against Iowa as he came up one yard short of his ninth career 100-yard rushing game. Running back Wes Brown punched in two rushing TDs in the win, while Stefon Diggs finished with nine catches for a season-high 130 yards and a score. It marked the third 100-yard receiving effort of the season for Diggs.
Defensive back William Likely returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown against Iowa to give the Terps a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. It was the second pick Likely returned for a score this season, and it proved to be a critical one as the Hawkeyes scored 10 points in the final three minutes to make it a one-possession game. On the season, Maryland is tied for third in the Big Ten with 14 takeaways.
The ground game has long been a staple of Wisconsin's offense, and this year is no different with Melvin Gordon leading the nation in rushing with 174.3 yards per game and a ridiculous 7.9 yards per carry average. In fact, his per- game average is better than 70 of the 125 teams in the FBS. Gordon also leads the nation in scoring with 14 total touchdowns.
The redshirt junior has averaged 217 rushing yards over the last four games after going for 175 and four TDs against Illinois. Teammate Corey Clement also ran for 164 yards and a score against the Fighting Illini, as the Badgers totaled 401 yards and an average of 8.5 ypc on the ground. Wisconsin's team averages of 343.0 rushing yards per game and 7.38 yards per attempt are both tops in the country.
Of course, the Badgers can also play some defense. They rank 10th nationally in scoring defense (17.7 ppg) and also sit in the top-25 in total yards (seventh - 286.0 ypg), rushing yards (22nd - 116.8 ypg) and passing yards allowed (eight - 169.2 ypg). They are one of only seven teams to rank in the top-25 of all four major defensive categories. The Badgers racked up six sacks in the win over Illinois.
The Terps have certainly held their own in their inaugural season in the Big Ten. But this will be their toughest road test to date, going up against a Wisconsin squad that has yet to lose in Madison this season and will be celebrating Homecoming.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wisconsin 45, Maryland 24Game Date and Time
Saturday, October 25, 12 p.m. (ET).