Maryland faces Wisconsin on Saturday at Byrd Stadium in College Park as the Terrapins try to get a victory in their second-to-last home game of the season.
Here are 5 things you need to know about the matchup.
1) Homecoming game
Interim head coach Mike Locksley has made it a point to talk about the importance of homecoming weekend as a way for the program to keep ties with its former players and cultivate a culture that extends beyond just a four-year cycle of players in and out.
Locksley said a number of program alumni have reached out to him and plan to be in town for the weekend.
2) Will the turnovers stop?
Maryland’s turnover issues are now a turnover epidemic. The Terrapins are tied for last in the nation with the most giveaways per game. It is coming from both directions -- both interceptions and fumbles.
It’s unclear what exactly is the fix. The obvious answer is just to do the things that help to reduce turnovers, meaning holding the ball tighter and throwing the ball away instead of into coverage if the play breaks down. Putting that into practice is more of an ask.
3) Another stout defense
Maryland has faced an elite succession of defenses since entering conference play, but that’s life in the Big Ten -- Michigan, then Ohio State, then Penn State, then Iowa, and now Wisconsin.
A coaching change in the middle of that stretch and a change in offensive philosophy has allowed the offense to do more, but they still have their shares of troubles, which begin with the above-mentioned turnovers.
The Badgers allow just 4.3 yards per play, good for 12th in the nation, and just 11 points per game, which is No. 1 overall.
4) Controlling the running game
Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon ran it consistently on Maryland last season in the Badgers’ 52-7 win over the Terrapins last season, racking up 122 yards and three touchdowns. He’s off to the NFL, but his backup from last season (who almost got 100 yards himself in that game) is now the center of attention.
Corey Clement has missed seven games to injury this season, but he came back strong last week against Rutgers with 115 yards and three touchdowns. Maryland’s defense has done better, even with injuries, against the run and has held a few elite running backs to average or below-average days of late.
Can they do it again against Clement?
5) Another step closer to the record?
Maryland junior Yannick Ngakoue is now three sacks away from tying the program’s single-season record for sacks in a season (13). While the staff continues to stress that he be a complete player, his ability to get to the quarterback is invaluable.
Wisconsin ranks 33rd in the nation in the percentage of plays on which its quarterback is sacked (4.28 percent) so it won’t be easy.