No. 21 Syracuse at Maryland in key matchup for both teams
No. 21 Syracuse (1-0) at Maryland (1-0), Saturday at noon EDT (ESPN).
Line: Maryland by 2.
Series record: Syracuse leads 19-15-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Syracuse opened with a shutout road win over Liberty last week and hosts top-ranked Clemson next week. If the Orange falter against the Terps, their promising season coming off last year’s 10-win campaign could get short-circuited awfully fast. Maryland hopes to maintain a feel-good vibe under first-year coach Michael Locksley, who is trying to turn around a program that hit rock-bottom last year when offensive lineman Jordan McNair died after suffering heat stroke on the practice field and coach DJ Durkin was suspended, reinstated and subsequently fired.
The Syracuse defense against a Maryland offense led by veteran quarterback Josh Jackson. The Terps beat FCS school Howard 79-0 in their season opener, scoring 11 touchdowns and narrowly missing the school’s points record. Jackson, a transfer from Virginia Tech, threw for 245 yards and four TDs, connecting with 10 different receivers. The Orange defense registered eight sacks and four turnovers and held Liberty to negative yards rushing in a 24-0 win.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Syracuse: QB Tommy DeVito. The redshirt sophomore was so-so in his first career start last week against Liberty, completing 17 of 35 passes for 176 yards and two interceptions. He also was sacked twice, a lack of communication with his receivers a factor in his performance.
Maryland: RB Anthony McFarland Jr. If the Orangemen attempt to shut down the Terps’ prolific passing game, McFarland will get the opportunity to flash the speed and moves that enabled him to garner 1,034 yards rushing as a freshman last year. He received only eight carries against Howard but scored two touchdowns.
FACTS & FIGURES
Maryland had eight sacks last week and limited Howard to 68 yards. ... Syracuse is 5-1 in nonconference games since the start of 2018. ... Maryland limited Bison to 1-yard rushing, lowest by Terps opponent since 1977. ... DJ Turner’s 40-yard punt return for a TD vs. Howard was first by a Terrapin since 2016. ... Syracuse LB Lakiem Williams had a career-high 11 tackles against the Flames, including 1 1/2 sacks. ... Maryland WR Dontay Demus Jr. had three catches for 100 yards and TD vs. Howard. ... Orange sophomore S Andre Cisco has eight career interceptions, one behind the active FBS career leaders.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25