Baltimore Sun Media Group sports reporter Matt Zenitz previews the Maryland (7-5) and Stanford (7-5) matchup in the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
Predictions for tonight's Foster Farms Bowl matchup between Maryland (7-5) and Stanford (7-5) at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.:
Stanford 34, Maryland 16
Stanford is a better team than its 7-5 record suggests and, to coach David Shaw, has played its best football of the year during its last two games. I think Maryland's defense will do a decent job against the Cardinal's offense, especially with Stanford being without star wide receiver Ty Montgomery. I just question how much success Maryland's offense, in particular the Terps' offensive line, will have against a defense that is ranked among the top-11 nationally against both the run and the pass as well as sixth in sacks.
I think this game will be closer than expected, and Maryland's improved health over the last month will help. Maryland's defense has a chance to cause problems for Stanford, too, especially with its top playmaker, Ty Montgomery, out. One of the more pressing questions for Maryland: Can the offense hold up against Stanford's front and sustain drives against the country's fourth-best defense? I think Stanford does enough defensively to pull it out.
Keith Cavanaugh, Terrapin Times
Stanford 27, Maryland 20
While Stefon Diggs back in the lineup will provide some fireworks, the Terps will find it tough sledding against Stanford's stout front seven in a 31-24 loss before a partisan Cardinal crowd in Santa Clara.
Maryland struggled to find consistency moving the football against some of the top defenses in the Big Ten, and the unit's toughest test of the season could await them Tuesday against Stanford. The Cardinal boasts the second-best scoring defense in the nation at 16 points allowed per game, so the Terps will have their hands full trying to find the end zone at Levi's Stadium. A couple of big plays would make a difference for C.J. Brown and the offense, but I anticipate a largely unproductive performance from the group. The Terps defense should show up, with a number of seniors playing their final game, to prevent Stanford from covering the 14-point spread. But the Cardinal will likely ride its defense to a Foster Farms Bowl victory.
Here is how we did with our predictions during Big Ten play: