NCAA

Maryland at Michigan State: The Terps will need to show more fight against the Spartans

Maryland at Michigan State: The Terps will need to show more fight against the Spartans

Maryland (3-8, 1-7 Big Ten) will wrap up its season on the road in East Lansing against the Michigan State Spartans (5-6, 3-5 Big Ten). The game kicks off on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on FS1.

Here's what you need to know.

Who will play quarterback is a question again

Four quarterbacks played for Maryland last week and none was able to find much success. Josh Jackson is listed as questionable for Saturday's game, but it seems likely he will play. Tyrrell Pigrome left the Nebraska game early due to a lower-body injury. Because he is a running threat, you have to wonder if he will be limited this week. Freshman Lance LeGendre dislocated his shoulder and will not play.

Regardless of who plays, the passing game is inconsistent

As a team, Maryland has not completed at least 50-percent of its passes since Oct. 12 against Purdue. That's a run of five straight games. That's a problem in general, but it makes for a more difficult matchup this week given that Michigan State's defense is much better against the run than the pass. The Spartans rank fourth in the Big Ten against the run (103.6 yards per game) and ninth against the pass (215.9). It looks like the Terps just don't have the weapons to exploit that weakness.

A bad offense vs. a bad defense

The key matchup on Saturday might be Michigan State's offense vs. Maryland's defense and not in a good way. Both units have struggled tremendously this season.

The Spartans are usually in contention for the division and not struggling just to reach a bowl game. Don't let last week's 27-0 win over Rutgers fool you, there is no bigger reason for the team's struggles this season than the anemic offense which ranks 10th in the Big Ten.

Heck, even Maryland put up 48 against the Scarlet Knights!

However, if there is a defense the Spartans can exploit, it is Maryland's which ranks dead last in the Big Ten and 107th nationally with 450.9 yards given up per game. There is no part of the defense that is particularly clicking at the moment with the team giving up 186.1 yards on the ground, 264.8 yards through the air and 36.1 points per game.

Maryland still has playmakers on defense

The Terps may be bad on that defensive side of the ball, but they do still have several key weapons.

Senior linebacker and Ohio State transfer Keandre Jones leads the team with seven sacks and has a tackle for loss in 10 of 11 games. He is also 25th in the conference with 63 total tackles, making him one of three Maryland players to rank in the top 25. Linebacker Ayinde Eley leads the team with 79 and safety Antoine Brooks has 65.

Leake needs a bounceback

Maryland's top offensive weapon this season, Javon Leake had a horrendous game against Nebraska with three fumbles. He still managed 10-yards per carry for 80 yards on the day. He leads the team with 716 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.

In addition, Leake is one kickoff touchdown away from setting the school's all-time record. His three has him tied with Torrey Smith.

Michigan State needs to win to become bowl eligible

For the second consecutive week, Maryland will be playing a team that must win to become bowl eligible. The Terps have nothing left to play for but pride at this point and that certainly was not enough last week.

There's no nice way to say it, but Maryland looked like it had quit against the Cornhuskers. They were obliterated 54-7 at home against a team that really is not all that good. The Terps will have to show more fight on the road against the Spartans to avoid a similar fate this week.

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Maryland's Big Ten title hopes go through Iowa as star Luka Garza to return for senior season

Maryland's Big Ten title hopes go through Iowa as star Luka Garza to return for senior season

The Maryland Terrapins men's basketball program clinched a share of the Big Ten regular-season title this past season, the first time the team has accomplished the feat since joining the conference in 2014.

However, the task to repeat as conference champions became a lot more difficult on Sunday, as Iowa star Luka Garza announced his intention to return to the Hawkeyes for his senior season.

The center announced his decision on Twitter on Sunday, posting a highlight video announcing his return.

Garza, the Big Ten Player of the Year a season ago, averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Hawkeyes. With the 6-foot-11 center returning to Iowa, the Hawkeyes are certainly the team to beat in the conference entering the season.

The Terps already had an uphill battle to repeat as Big Ten champs, as the team's two best players from a season ago are no longer with the team. Point guard Anthony Cowan graduated from the university after a stellar four-year career, while sophomore center Jalen Smith decided to forego his final two seasons and enter the NBA Draft.

"I'm very excited to be back with my teammates and look towards winning a National Championship, winning a Big Ten championship," Garza said. "We have big goals in mind."

The news is tough for Maryland fans, as Garza is one of the many players in recent years that played their high school ball in the DMV before heading to college elsewhere. Garza, who played his high school basketball at the Maret School in Washington, D.C. just nine miles south from College Park, was never offered a scholarship by Terps head coach Mark Turgeon.

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Report: Pac-12 players threaten to sit out entire 2020 season citing safety, racial injustice concerns

Report: Pac-12 players threaten to sit out entire 2020 season citing safety, racial injustice concerns

Pac-12 football players are preparing to opt-out of the 2020 season in the event that the league doesn't address a list of concerns about racial injustice, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and other demands. 

According to ESPN, the group's goal is to "obtain a written contract with the PAC-12 that legally ensures we are offered the following protections and benefits."

The complete list of protections and benefits was not made public, however, it's been reported that "safe play amid the pandemic, fighting racial injustice, securing economic rights and fair compensation, protecting all sports and obtaining long-term health insurance," are a few of them. 

RELATED: GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY TO DISCONTINUE 7 SPORTS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

The Pac-12 issued a statement Saturday stating that it has yet to hear from the group — the players plan to make a public "statement of unity" and a full list of their demands as early as Sunday through traditional and social media. 

"Neither the Conference nor our university athletics departments have been contacted by this group regarding these topics," a Pac-12 statement said. "We support our student-athletes using their voice and have regular communications with our student-athletes at many different levels on a range of topics. As we have clearly stated with respect to our fall competition plans, we are, and always will be, directed by medical experts, with the health, safety and well being of our student athletes, coaches and staff always the first priority. We have made it clear that any student athlete who chooses not to return to competition for health or safety reasons will have their scholarship protected."

The Pac-12 announced its 10-game, conference-only schedule for the 2020 season on Friday.

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