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Maryland beat writers predict the outcome of Terps-Michigan State

Each week during Big Ten play, the Washington Post’s Roman Stubbs, another Maryland football beat writer and I share our predictions for the Terps’ upcoming game.
This week’s rotating writer is Keith Cavanaugh from Terrapin Times.

Here are our predictions for Saturday’s game between Maryland (6-3 overall, 3-2 Big Ten) and No. 12 Michigan State (7-2, 4-1) at Byrd Stadium.

Matt Zenitz

Michigan State 40, Maryland 20

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Maryland’s defense is better than the numbers suggest and held Penn State to 219 yards on Nov. 1, but the Terps will be tasked with slowing down a Michigan State offense that ranks sixth in the country in scoring offense, averaging 44.6 points per game. I also question how well the Terps’ offensive line, which has been overwhelmed against teams such as Ohio State and Wisconsin, can do against a Michigan State defense that leads the Big Ten in sacks and has one of the best pass rushers in the country in defensive end Shilique Calhoun.

The Spartans are not perfect. They are eighth in the Big Ten in scoring defense, gave up 568 yards to Ohio State last week and had trouble stopping the Buckeyes’ dual-threat quarterback J.T. Barrett. Maryland hopes to exploit Michigan State’s defense with its own dual-threat quarterback, C.J. Brown. However, the keys to this game will be the Terps’ offensive line holding up against that Michigan State defensive front and Maryland’s defense finding a way to slow down quarterback Connor Cook and that Spartans’ offense.

Roman Stubbs

Michigan State 35, Maryland 24

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I think the Terps have a chance to keep this game close early by feeding off the energy at Byrd. But overcoming the recent offensive ineptitude against a top-5 defense in the Big Ten will not be easy, especially without Stefon Diggs in the lineup, and Michigan State should be able to wear Maryland down with the run to open things up for quarterback Connor Cook. 

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Keith Cavanaugh

Michigan State 49, Maryland 20

The Terps offense, without their one true playmaker, Stefon Diggs, will be stuck in neutral. The defense will be gassed out on the field too long, and Sparty will dominate the trenches in a 49-20 MSU win at Byrd Stadium.

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