NCAA Football – Week 3
The Maryland Terrapins host the UCONN Huskies on Saturday, at 12:30 pm est. The Huskies are -2.5 point road favorites with a total of 43. The early betting action at one offshore sportsbook is favoring UCONN to the tune of 88%. UCONN is 1-1 with a win over UMASS and a loss to NC STATE while Maryland is off to a 2-0 start to their season with wins over William & Mary and Temple.
No one wants this game more than UCONN fans. It’s a their first crack at former UCONN head coach Randy Edsall. Edsall, who was responsible for putting UCONN football on the map, basically left town in the middle of the night when he accepted the Maryland job.
While bulletin board material can be a great motivator and handicapping tool in college sports, we’re not so sure it applies here. Sure, the fans want the game, perhaps some UCONN upper brass want the game, but it’s not as if this would have been brought up all week in practice. Most of the team wasn’t around for Edsall and could care less. A few recruits, sure, but how mad are you going to be at a guy who thought you were good enough to recruit and give a full scholarship too? The fans want the game, but the fans don’t play it, and won’t be there in large numbers to make themselves heard.
This game will be decided by the talent on the field. Exactly how good that talent is, remains to be seen. We really don’t know much about either of these teams, based on the opponents they faced thus far. If we can judge these two teams base on their opening two games, we’d assume that both of these teams will be tough on the defensive side of the ball this year. But we have to keep in mind that UMASS, William &Mary and Temple make up 3 of the 4 opponents these two have faced.
Edsall isn’t the only coach in this game facing his old team. The UCONN defensive coordinator is former Maryland coordinator Don Brown. He has the UCONN defense ranked #3 in the nation which certainly doesn’t bode well for a young Maryland offense with a freshman QB known more for throwing interceptions than completions. But the big equalizer here is that the UCONN offense appears just as bad as Maryland’s. They are ranked 113th in the nation after just two games. UCONN relies heavily on the run yet managed only 3.4 yards per carry against UMASS and was shut down by NC State.
Free College Football Pick:
These teams are in similar spots. Both coaches are in their 2nd year, both have young teams, both have shown an ability to stop the run while both have shown that their offense needs work, particularly the passing game. That suggests that these two may be pretty evenly matched. With that in mind, despite how badly some at UCONN want this game because of the Edsall factor, we have to lean towards the Maryland side. This is a perfect opportunity for Edsall to win back some of the Maryland fans he’s already lost, while moving the Terrapins to 3-0. Imagine that? Right now there are some 3′s on the board with heavy juice. We’ll wait for a 3 -110 to show up if we decide to play this one. Maryland +3.