Preview: Maryland battles Marshall in Military Bowl

Preview: Maryland battles Marshall in Military Bowl
December 27, 2013, 7:30 am
Share This Post

What did Terps overcome to reach Military Bowl?

(USA TODAY Sports)

VITALS

Matchup: Marshall (9-4, 7-1 C-USA) vs. Maryland (7-5, 3-5 ACC)

Date: Dec. 27, 2013

Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

Location: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Md.

TV: ESPN

Spread: Marshall (-2.5)

THREE-POINT STANCE: THREE KEYS TO WATCH

- This time off has given Maryland something it desperately needed--time to recover from injuries. The healthier C.J. Brown is, the more effective he can be in the zone-read formations that Maryland has strayed from now later in the season.

Now having had time to recover, expect that to be part of Maryland’s repertoire on Friday. If that is working and keeping Marshall on its toes, it will give Brown an opportunity to throw the deep ball and stretch the field for the Terrapins.

- Maryland’s defense must contain Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato. Much like it was able to neutralize Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas during the team’s win in Blacksburg, Cato is at the center of a potent Marshall offense.

[RELATED: Get to know Marshall QB Rakeem Cato]

The more time he has to operate, the better he will play and the more likely this game becomes a shootout. The Thundering Herd average more than 40 points per game offensively and he is a big reason why. Maryland needs linebacker Marcus Whitfield and defensive lineman Andre Monroe to pressure him while still containing him to the pocket.

- Maryland’s secondary has had to grow up quickly this season because of injuries. In the season’s final game, they’re actually be getting a boost. Junior cornerback Jeremiah Johnson is expected to see his first meaningful time on the field since Week 1 against Florida International when he broke his toe.

Add him to the mix with outstanding freshman Will Likely and the Terrapins are in a better position to stop Marshall’s three-headed receiving attack of Tommy Shuler, Gator Hoskins, and Devon Smith.

WHAT'S ON THE LINE?

The first bowl appearance of the Randy Edsall era would be made sweeter if it also becomes the first bowl win of the Randy Edsall era. There have been rumors that Edsall could be bought out were he to lose this game, but Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson stood behind Edsall earlier this week and maintained that he would be the coach in the future regardless of Friday’s outcome.

A win would also seal Maryland’s final ACC season with a win, giving Maryland an 8-5 overall record before moving to the Big Ten.

[RELATED: Marshall will wear special helmets for Military Bowl]

WHERE TO WATCH

The Military Bowl will be carried live on ESPN2 beginning at 2:30 p.m.

More Team Talk