Maryland Football vs. SMU: TV, point spread and preview – 247Sports

Maryland football has a chance to start its campaign 3-0 for the second time since 2016 Saturday as the Terps host SMU in College Park. The Terps showed positive notes on both sides of the ball and will look to put together a complete effort against a sneakily strong SMU team that has come out of the gates blazing in 2022.
SMU is led by first-year head coach Rhett Lashlee and has a roster consisting of 50 new faces between recruiting and the transfer portal that have given the Mustangs a strong reset. Twenty-one players on this year’s roster transferred in from Power Five institutions. The game will kick off Maryland is a three-point favorite and the total is set at 72 points.
“We’re very fortunate, facing a team like this in game three is a lot easier to face in a team like this in game one with the preparation,” Locksley said. “But I do expect that they’re good coaches over there. So they’re a team that will self-scout themselves and see what they show on tape and then try to disguise not necessarily change what they do…I expect them to be very conscientious of what they’ve shown on tape. Try to self-scout and maybe offer some things that we haven’t seen them do but our systems and how we prepare should allow us to be able to make the adjustments seamlessly and it’ll be a good game.”
The Terps will be without cornerback Tarheeb Still as he recovers from surgery to repair a tendon in his finger, but will welcome back sophomore cornerback Corey Coley Jr. to the fold as added depth at the position.
The ESPN Football power Index gives Maryland a 71% chance to win this game during the preseason, which lowered to 51% after the Buffalo win and has risen back to 67.3% ahead of Saturday. The Terps are listed as three-point spread favorites with a total over-under of 73 points between both teams in most sportsbooks.
Maryland and SMU are scheduled to kick off at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m on FS1.
SMU Mustangs (2-0)
2021 Record: (8-3, 4-4 America)
Head Coach: Rhett Lashlee (First Season)
Players to watch: Quarterback Tanner Mordecai (SR), Wide receiver Rashee Rice (SR), Linebacker Jimmy Phillips Jr. (SR)
Strength: Airing it out… There is no secret to the Mustangs’ offensive system in 2022; They are here to take shots through the air and are not afraid to keep trying. Senior quarterback Tanner Mordecai threw for 3,628 yards and 39 touchdowns last season and has continued that success into his senior season by completing 41 of 63 passes for 644 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception. Senior wideout Rashee Rice is far and away the top receiver to key in on, having racked up 17 catches for 298 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s first two games this season.
“I think the biggest thing with [Rice] is that they target him a lot,” Locksley said. “He gets a ton of their targets and touches and they’re going to take shots down the field. He is probably the best vertical threat guy that we faced this year. Big, can run and they’re not afraid to put it up and give him 50/50 balls where he goes up and has a chance to make plays. And so the challenge for us will be the thing that showed up early in the first just not panicking when the ball is in the air. I feel comfortable that we have enough speed to run and be in great position, but now it’s disrupting the 50/50 ball and playing through the ball and not through the man where we get penalties.”
Weakness: Rushing defense… While both teams have had fairly similar starts to the season defensively, albeit against easier competition, Maryland has shown an ability to stop the run while SMU allows for a more balanced attack. The Mustangs allow just 184 yards per game in the air, but an additional 153 yards per game on the ground. For the Terps, any ability to create an advantage in the running game could be the difference as these two offenses will go shot for shot in the passing game.
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