Military Bowl – Marshall Thundering Herd vs Maryland Terapins
Date and Time: Friday 12/27/13 at 2:30pm on ESPN
Game Line: Marshall -2.5 (from JustBet)
Saturday’s Military Bowl NCAA Football Analysis: An appearance in the Military Bowl paired with a 7-5 record may not have been the ultimate goal for Maryland, but it is an improvement. The Terrapins’ reward is a trip the Military Bowl in Annapolis, just a short bus ride from their campus. They will put the finishing touches on the best season of under coach Randy Edsall when they meet high powered Marshall on Friday. After losing 18 of 24 games in Edsall’s first two years as coach, Maryland opened 2013 with four straight wins and even cracked the national rankings in the regular season for the first time since 2008. Florida State took care of any of those good feelings by destroying the Terrapins 63-0 early in October and from then on the team was very average. In their last game as an ACC team before moving to the Big Ten next season, Maryland took care of North Carolina State 41-21. Marshall, lead by quarterback Rakeem Cato, have the seventh ranked offense in points per game and 12th in yards. They won seven of eight games in the heart of their season before losing to Middle Tennessee on a last play touchdown and to Rice in the Conference USA Championship game. A victory for Marshall would be the team’s first ten win season since Byron Leftwich lead the team to a 11-2 mark in 2002. Cato is tied for third in the nation with 36 touchdown passes, 13 to Gator Hoskins, who lead the country in that department. Receiver Tommy Shuler is among the best in the country as well with 1,100 yards and nine scores. They use the pass to set up the run, and Essray Taliaferro averaged 5.2 yards per carry and helps put games out of reach after their passing attack builds a lead. Both of these teams beat Virginia Tech in very close games, and both destroyed FIU. Maryland plays in the ACC and faced much tougher competition throughout the season and the small spread lets you know how much respect bookmakers have for the ACC compared to the MAC.
Marshall vs Maryland NCAA Football Picks: Maryland +2.5 and under 62
Marshall vs Maryland Game Prediction: 31-26 Maryland
What to expect in the 2013 Military Bowl: Everyone is anticipating Marshall to come out and score points in this game, but Maryland’s defense has had three weeks to prepare for them and they have faced much tougher competition throughout the season. If they can run the ball effectively, which they have done in spots this season, they can keep the ball away from the Marshall offense. The big, physical players in the trenches for Maryland will wear down Marshall’s smaller defensive and offensive linemen and Maryland will pull away late in the game.