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Purdue vs. Maryland, 12:00 ET
As far as big-name college football schools go, this isn’t a matchup between them. However, this is a game with two talented teams facing off in a conference matchup. Those are usually pretty fun to watch and in this one, I think there is one team that has an edge.
Purdue has been good so far on the year, but not great. They were able to go into Minnesota last week and beat the then-ranked #21 Golden Gophers at home. Minnesota is not always an easy place to play either. They lost to Penn State early in the year and also Syracuse. Either of those games could have gone Purdue’s way. They have a capable defense that is working well together and does a nice job of containing opponents’ rushing games. On offense, you can expect a fairly balanced attack led by the connection between Aidan O’Connell and Charlie Jones. On the year, they have seven touchdowns between them. O’Connell has only thrown eight total. If Maryland stops Jones, this might be an easy victory for them.
For all the talk about his brother, Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is putting up his own strong season. While he definitely needs to get his touchdown number up a bit to keep the defenses guessing, he is spreading the ball around nicely to receivers and keeping drives alive. Maryland is averaging 35 points per game and they’ve been in control of just about every match they’ve played this year. Their one loss came at the hands of Michigan – and in that game, Maryland was able to keep it to a one-score game. Overall, they have a balanced team and don’t seem to get rattled easily even when they commit turnovers.
I’m taking Maryland to win this game and cover the spread. It is a pretty low number at -3 which is essentially the home field advantage, and it likely will be a close game. I think we can get a late touchdown from Maryland to set them apart though. As I mentioned, the key will be to stopping Jones. If they do that, the defensive line should be able to do enough to contain the running game. I think Purdue will struggle to stop Tagovailoa.
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