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Terps nearly a two-touchdown underdog against Michigan State

Maryland will enter Saturday’s game against No. 12 Michigan State as a sizable underdog.
The Spartans (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) are favored by 12.5 points, according to ESPN.com.

Led by junior quarterback Connor Cook, Michigan State won six straight games by a combined margin of 292-109 before falling to Ohio State, 49-37, on Saturday.

The Spartans’ only other loss came at the hands of third-ranked Oregon, 46-27, on Sept. 6, a game Michigan State led, 27-18, late in the third quarter before the Ducks pulled away behind 28 unanswered points.

The Spartans rank first in the Big Ten in total offense (517.6 yards per game) and second in scoring offense (44.7 points per game).
Cook is throwing for a Big Ten-best 247.3 yards per game and has thrown 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Senior wide receiver Tony Lippett leads the Big Ten in receiving yards per game (105.9), is averaging 20.9 yards per catch and has a conference-high nine receiving touchdowns.
Michigan State’s offensive line has allowed just six sacks in nine games, and the Spartans are also averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

Starting running back Jeremy Langford is rushing for an average of 108.7 yards per game, averaging 5.5 yards per rush and has run for 13 touchdowns.

The main area of vulnerability for the Spartans appears to be their defense.

While Michigan State leads the Big Ten with 30 sacks and held Michigan to 186 yards of total offense during a 35-11 win Oct. 25, the Spartans gave up 568 yards of total offense to Ohio State and 31 points during a 14-point win over Purdue on Oct. 11.

One of the challenges for Maryland (6-3, 3-2) will be manufacturing plays against that defense without star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who is injured on top of being suspended for the game.

The Terps had a bye last week after beating Penn State, 20-19, on Nov. 1.

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