No. 5 Wisconsin seeks to smooth out offense against Maryland
Maryland (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) at No. 5 Wisconsin (6-0, 3-0), Saturday, Noon ET (Fox)
Line: Wisconsin by 24.
Series record: Wisconsin leads 2-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Maryland hopes to snap its two-game losing streak, but that will be tough at Camp Randall Stadium. With a College Football Playoff spot in play for the Badgers, they need to score decisive wins over Big Ten laggards like the Terrapins. Wisconsin’s offense will look to regroup against Maryland and its league-worst defense after a choppy offensive performance last week against Purdue.
Maryland secondary vs. Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook. The statistical matchup overwhelmingly favors Wisconsin in almost every category. But if a defense that had two interceptions last week against Northwestern can manage to force Hornibrook into mistakes, the Terps might be able to hang around. Five of Hornibrook’s six interceptions have come over the last three weeks in Big Ten play.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Maryland: QB Max Bortenschlager. A former third-stringer thrust into the starting job because of injuries, the sophomore has not thrown an interception in each of his three starts. But after getting knocked out in the third quarter of a 62-14 rout at Ohio State two weeks ago, Bortenschlager faces another stern test with Wisconsin’s stingy defense on the road.
Wisconsin: RB Jonathan Taylor. The Big Ten’s leading rusher (164.3 yards per game) could be in for another big day against a defense allowing 174.3 yards per game. Just a freshman, Taylor is looking for his third straight game with at least 200 yards rushing.
FACTS & FIGURES
Bortenschlager’s streak of 83 passes without an interception is longest in school history since Chris Turner in 2008 (132) ... WR D.J. Moore’s career-high 210 yards receiving last week against Northwestern were most by Terp since Torrey Smith had 224 against North Carolina State in 2010. ... Moore leads Big Ten in TD catches (seven) and receiving yards (624). ... Taylor needs 14 yards to reach 1,000-yard mark, joining five others to reach the mark as a freshman in just seven games. It was accomplished most recently by Wisconsin’s P.J. Hill in 2006. ... Wisconsin has outscored opponents 119-24 in second half this season.
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