Connecticut (1-1) at Maryland (2-0)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 15, 12:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Byrd Stadium (54,000) -- College Park, Maryland.
Television: ACC Network and ESPN3.com. Home Record: UConn 1-1, Maryland 1-0.
Away Record: UConn 0-0, Maryland1-0. Neutral Record: UConn 0-0, Maryland
0-0. Conference Record: UConn 0-0, Maryland 0-0. Series Record: Maryland
GAME NOTES: For the second straight week the Connecticut Huskies will play a
team from the Atlantic Coast Conference, this time on the road, when they
head to Byrd Stadium to take on the undefeated Maryland Terrapins.
After posting a 37-0 win over Massachusetts in its season opener, Connecticut
really struggled to get anything going offensively and subsequently dropped
game two of the season in a 10-7 defensive struggle with NC State. UConn
didn't even manage to score until the fourth quarter when Lyle McCombs posted
a five-yard touchdown run. The failure to score at all in the first half was
the first time that has happened to the Huskies since 2010.
Maryland on the other hand went in the opposite direction, posting a 36-27
win on the road over Temple after a 7-point performance, also in a win,
against William and Mary in week one. The majority of the scoring came in
the second quarter, when the Terps racked up 23 points to take a 26-3 lead
into the locker room. At 2-0 Maryland has now matched its win total for
the entire 2011 campaign.
It has been quite awhile since these two teams have squared off with the one
and only meeting occurring in 1942. That game, which was also in College Park,
ended in a 34-0 rout in favor of the Terps.
It was a brutal day for the Connecticut offense in the squad's loss to NC
State. Aside from only scoring seven points on the day, the Huskies also only
accumulated 239 total yards of offense, the majority of which came through the
air (204). The running game was nonexistent with the team managing only 35
yards on 32 carries for a yard-per-attempt average of 1.1. The Huskies also
struggled when it came to third downs, converting only 2-of-12 attempts.
Even though he could not consistently pick up yards on the ground, McCombs
was still the best offensive player on the field for the Huskies. The
running back managed to pick up 60 yards rushing and also caught a pair
of passes for 51 yards. Nick Williams was also an effective receiver out of
the back field with three receptions for a team-high 59 yards. William had
only one rush for a negative gain.
While Chandler Whitmer and the passing game put up more yards, it was still a
struggle for the Huskies to move the ball through the air. Whitmer completed
15-of-27 pass attempts, but was intercepted three times by the strong NC
For all its offensive struggles, Connecticut can take away some positives from
the loss thanks to another strong performance from the defense. UConn allowed
only 258 yards in the game and is currently the top rated team in the Big East
in terms of points allowed per game (5.0) and total yards allowed (158.5 ypg).
The Huskies got consistent pressure throughout the game and ended up with
six sacks as a team and 11 total tackles for loss. Yawin Smallwood is quietly
turning into one of the best linebackers in the conference after he posted a
career-best 14 tackles in the loss. Trevardo Williams also had a stellar game
with 2.5 sacks and three total tackles for loss from the defensive line.
It was quite the one-week turnaround for the Maryland offense in the win over
Temple. After managing only seven points and 236 total yards in week one of
the season, the Terps lit up the scoreboard much more frequently and racked up
nearly 100 more yards (334). Maryland also made plays at crucial moments,
going 3-for-3 in the red zone and 7-for-16 on third downs.
Head coach Randy Edsall and offensive coordinator Mike Locksley relied
heavily on the running game but got some big plays from the passing attack
as well. Justus Pickett carried the ball 21 times and picked up 69 yards and
a touchdown to lead all ball carriers. As a team, Maryland ran the ball 48
times for 144 yards.
That meant that quarterback Perry Hills performance (11-for-21, 190 yards, 2
TDs was plenty to balance the Terps' attack. Hills also scored a touchdown on
Although the defense did allow 26 points, the unit largely kept Temple in
check on the day, allowing only 230 yards of total offense in the win. The
defense also forced a pair of Temple fumbles including one on the Owls'
opening drive when Joe Vellano knocked the ball from Matt Brown's hands.
Where the unit really shined was against the run, holding Temple's normally
solid rushing offense to just 52 yards on 39 carries. The team stifled Brown
all game, limiting the talented back to a mere 31 yards.
Vellano had a solid game overall with four total tackles, including two for
loss and a sack. For how well the defense played, no player managed to rack
up a huge tackle total, Cole Farrand led the team with six stops.
Maryland may not be as fortunate against UConn when it comes to scoring. So
far this season the Husky defense has been stifling and against a Maryland
offense that still hasn't shown much consistency, Smallwood and company
should wreak havoc and push the Huskies back above .500.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Connecticut 28, Maryland 14
09/12 10:57:47 ET