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This is a very interesting matchup between the Big-10 and the Big-12. Neither of these teams are great but they both can upset teams and are competitive. It should be interesting to watch. Time to break it down.
Quarterback: The Mountaineers return Jarret Doege who is coming off a season where he completed 63.9% of his passes for 258.7 yards per game, with 14 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Maryland counters with Taulia Tagovailoa (yes he is Tua’s brother) who is a dual threat. Advantage: Neither
Running Backs: The Terps lost their leading rusher from 2020 while West Virginia returns Leddie Brown who rushed for over 1000 yards and returns for his senior season. Advantage: West Virginia
Receivers: Maryland returns every receiver with any quality amount of playing time. However, West Virginia despite having talent, is unproven in game situations. Advantage: Maryland
Offensive Line: Both teams have changed some schemes and have added new talent on the line. Advantage: Neither
Defensive Line: The Mountaineers return freshman All-American Akheem Mesidor to head up the defensive line. Maryland doesn’t have proven talent like that. Advantage: West Virginia
Linebackers: Maryland has three highly touted incoming freshmen to join up with Ruben Hypolite II and hopefully improve the defensive production. The Mountaineers return Josh Chandler-Semedo who won MVP honors in the bowl game and have added players through the transfer portal. Advantage: Neither
Secondary: The Terps have everybody back from a strong secondary in 2020. They have top flight talent at all positions. West Virginia has some experience at this position group also. Advantage: Maryland
Coaching: Neal Brown is in his 3rd year at West Virginia and has done a nice job of building the program. He just needs to get a few more wins. Mike Locksley is back for his 3rd season and is 5-12. This is a big year for him as Maryland continues to recruit well and needs to show signs of improvement. Advantage: West Virginia
There isn’t much to choose from between these two teams and it shows with the line being West Virginia -2.5. So, the point spread shows us that Vegas thinks is is almost a toss-up. I’m looking at home field advantage belonging to Maryland as being an issue as West Virginia lost all 4 of their road games from a year ago.
Aaron’s Pick: Maryland +2.5 *AARON’S LOCK OF THE WEEK*
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