Maryland vs. Nebraska: Terps look to end Nebraska's bowl hopes

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Maryland vs. Nebraska: Terps look to end Nebraska's bowl hopes

Maryland (3-7, 1-6 Big Ten) returns to action after a much-needed bye week to host the Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-6, 2-5 Big Ten) in the last home game of the season. Kickoff from Maryland Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. on BTN.

Here are six things to know for Saturday's game.

Expect multiple quarterbacks for Maryland

Head coach Mike Locksley said both Josh Jackson and Tyrrell Pigrome will play against Nebraska saying the team needs both to win. Jackson was the undisputed starter at the start of the season, but injuries and inconsistent play have forced several quarterbacks into action this season.

In addition to Jackson and Pigrome, Locksley also said the team has packages for freshman quarterback Lane LeGendre as well.

As the old adage goes, however, if you have two quarterbacks, you have none. And now the Terps have three!

The bottom line is that if any of the four quarterbacks Maryland has played this year was playing all that well, there would be no need for the quarterback carousel.

Defensive woes plague both teams

Of course Rutgers has the worst defense in the Big Ten. That's a given. But both Maryland and Nebraska are hot on their heels ranking 13th and 12th respectively in total defense within the conference.

The Terps have given up 400 yards or more in seven of their last nine games. The passing defense does not just rank low within the conference, it ranks 114th nationally giving up 268.7 yards per game.

Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez has been shown to be inconsistent when challenged by a good defense, but Maryland's woeful pass rush could provide the sophomore quarterback too much time to pick apart the secondary.

A chance to rebound on offense

Maryland's defense is bad, but so is Nebraska's. The Cornhuskers gave up 322 yards on the ground to Minnesota and 320 to Wisconsin. They also gave up over 300 yards through the air to Indiana and Purdue. These are not the famous "Blackshirts." Whatever teams have wanted to do offensively against Nebraska, they have been able to.

But do the Terps have the offensive weapons to take advantage? Quarterback is a question mark. Dontay Demus has played well, but he seems to be the only reliable receiving option and neither Javon Leake nor Anthony McFarland have been able to run the ball with any sort of consistency this year.

The opportunity is there for a big game for the Terps if and only if someone steps up and puts the offense on its shoulders.

The Terps are trending in the wrong direction

After opening the season 2-0, Maryland is just 1-7 in its last eight. In conference play, the Terps have been outscored 303-121 and 48 of those 121 points came against Rutgers.

Granted, Maryland's last three games were against Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio State. That's a tough stretch, but the Terps were largely non-competitive in all three of those games.

Nebraska will likely be missing one of its playmakers

Standout freshman receiver Wan'Dale Robinson did not practice Wednesday due to an injury and seems unlikely to play on Saturday. In nine games, Robinson has done a little bit of everything for Nebraska with 85 carries, 40 receptions and 11 kickoff returns in nine games. He has scored five total touchdowns for the Cornhuskers and his loss will be a big one for the offense.

Nebraska's season is on the line

At 4-6, this is a must-win game for Nebraska which needs to win both of its remaining games to reach bowl eligibility. That ship officially sailed for Maryland in the loss to Ohio State, but the Terps still have the chance to play spoiler to Nebraska in their final home game of the season.



Jim Boeheim does not mince words on former Georgetown Hoya James Akinjo

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Jim Boeheim does not mince words on former Georgetown Hoya James Akinjo

WASHINGTON - Do not expect James Akinjo to transfer to Syracuse this season.  

Orange head coach Jim Boeheim had some harsh words for the former Georgetown guard. Critical of Akinjo's overall approach to the game, Boeheim attributed his removal from the team to Georgetown's three-game winning streak. 

"They got rid of a guy that wouldn't pass the ball to anybody and just shot every time. That's why they're good now," Boeheim said referring to Akinjo after his team's loss to Hoyas.

Akinjo is one of four players that has announced they are leaving the Georgetown program in the past four weeks. As a starter for the Hoyas, Akinjo's loss was the most notable. The rest were all bench players, two seeing action on the back-end of the rotation. 

There is some credence to Boeheim's points. Akinjo averaged 4.4 assists in the seven games he played to start the season. The team as a whole had 14.6 assists on 26 made baskets per game - a 56% assist rate. The three games without him have seen that rate drastically tick up to 69% (20.7 assists on 30 made shots). Against SMU, Georgetown's 26 assists were the most they've had in a single game in nine years. 

Boeheim would also go on to say that despite the loss of four scholarship players, the remaining team is one of the best Georgetown teams he's seen in recent memory. He was unwavering in his support for Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing and was pleased with how he handled the whole situation. 

“Two guys weren’t really contributing at all and another guy was throwing the ball up all the time. I know Patrick [Ewing] can’t say that, but I can. I watched [James Akinjo] play three games. He lost three games, two games by himself," Boeheim said. "(Now) they have a pass-first point guard who can also score and (Mac) McClung gets to play away from the ball... they're a completely different team. If we played them, the way they were playing earlier in the year, we would’ve won the game.”

Terrell Allen, a grad transfer out of UCF, has filled the point guard void in Akinjo's absence. In their big win over SMU, he had 10 of the team's 26 assists and no turnovers. The DeMatha product added six more against Syracuse.

Akinjo has already jumped into the transfer market, visiting Arizona earlier this week. It appears there is no reason for him to waste his time taking a visit to central New York.


Malcolm Perry breaks Army-Navy rushing record in Midshipmen victory

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Malcolm Perry breaks Army-Navy rushing record in Midshipmen victory

In a game between two teams who have for many years run the triple option, you have to be a pretty special player to run for the most yards ever in the Army-Navy Game. Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry did just that on Saturday as he led the Midshipmen to the 31-7 victory snapping a three-year losing streak to Army.

Perry finished the game with 304 rushing yards, the most ever for any player in the Army-Navy Game. He also rushed for two touchdowns.

"How did I bench him last year?" head coach Ken Niumatalolo said during a postgame interview on CBS.

Army took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and Perry took over from there, leading the Midshipmen to 31 unanswered points.

Perry was not the story of the first half as Navy took a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter off of the Philly Special, but his dominant performance became hard to ignore as the game went on as Army proved unable to stop the speedy quarterback.

The victory ensures Navy's senior class did not go without a win against their archrival. It also earned the Midshipmen their first Commander-in-Chief's Trophy since 2015.

With the loss, Army's season is now over. Perry will have one game left in his Navy football career as the Midshipmen will play Kansas State on Dec. 31 in the Liberty Bowl.