NCAAF: Rutgers at Maryland: No matchup vs. ‘big three’ this time


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Since they began playing in the Big Ten in 2014, Maryland and Rutgers have had the misfortune of playing in the same division as Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State.

While Rutgers is 1-26 against the big three since it entered the league, Maryland has gone 3-22 against the perennial powers.

On Saturday, when Rutgers (4-7, 1-7) travels to Maryland (6-5, 3-5) for the Big Ten matchup in College Park, the teams will cap regular seasons in which they each went winless against the big three, though in much different fashion.

While Rutgers was hammered in all three of its meetings with the elites, including Saturday’s 55-10 loss to No. 11 Penn State, Maryland played competitive games against two of the powerhouses, including No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday in a 43-30 loss.

The Terps outgained the Buckeyes 402-401, with quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa — 26 of 36 passing, 293 yards, two touchdowns — comparing favorably to Buckeyes’ Heisman Trophy candidate C.J. Stroud (18 of 30, 241 yards, one TD).

“You saw us go blow for blow with the team I consider one of the best in the country,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said.

While Maryland can show it has gained ground in its pursuit of the Big Ten’s top dogs, it’s tough for Rutgers to make the same claim. The combined score of the Scarlet Knights’ losses to the big three was 156-37.

“As I said when I took the job, we are chasing a moving target and really we’re chasing moving targets,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. “We will get there.”

Rutgers opened the season with three straight wins, but the Scarlet Knights’ uncertain quarterback situation was presaged in their opening game as three different players took snaps from center on their first three plays from scrimmage.

Schiano recently has turned to the quarterback of the future, Gavin Wimsatt, who has received the majority of the snaps in the past four games. For the season, though, Wimsatt has completed 45.5 percent of his passes and has more interceptions (seven) than touchdown passes (five).

Maryland beat Rutgers 40-16 in last year’s regular-season finale as Tagovailoa threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns.

– Field Level Media


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