Good afternoon from Huntington Bank Stadium, where the Gophers will try to stretch their Big Ten winning streak to three games against Maryland at 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2, 100.-3-FM). With their 30-23 victory over Nebraska last week, the Gophers improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten, a half-game behind West Division-leading Iowa. Maryland (4-2, 1-2) is coming off a bye after losing back to back games to Iowa (51-14) and Ohio State (66-17).
The Gophers will try to build on last week's effort in which the passing game surpassed 200 yards for the first time since the season opener against Ohio State. Tanner Morgan completed 14 of his first 15 passes and had a school-record streak of 16 consecutive completions. Wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell caught a career-high 11 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Bryce Williams settled into the No. 1 running back role by rushing 17 times for 127 yards, including a 56-yard TD run that put Minnesota up 30-16 in the fourth quarter. The Gophers defense limited Huskers QB Adrian Martinez to minus-17 rushing yards, helping it to a No. 6 national ranking of 86.8 yards allowed per game. Also key were a goal-line stand in the third quarter, another fourth-down stop in the fourth and a safety in the fourth quarter.
Maryland is averaging 447.2 yards per game, fourth in the Big Ten, but will be without two of its top receivers in Dontay Demus Jr. and Jeshaun Jones, who both are out for the season. Their go-to target will be Rakim Jarrett, who has 22 catches for 319 yards and five TDs. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, passed for 394 yards and three TDs and rushed for two TDs in the Terrapins' 45-44 overtime win over the Gophers last year. This year, he ranks second in the Big Ten with 296 passing yards per game but has thrown seven interceptions in his past two games.
The Gophers running back depth took a hit Monday when Cam Wiley announced he was entering his name into the transfer portal. Special teams ace and linebacker Derik LeCaptain was working with both the running backs and linebackers in pregame warmups, so it appears he has added offensive duties.
Gophers receiver Daniel Jackson, whose 14 receptions rank second on the team, will not play for the second consecutive game because of an undisclosed injury.