Maryland is saying all the right things about not looking past Eastern Michigan, which is smart – not to mention that a loss at Middle Tennessee is still fresh in the Terrapins‘ minds.
Still, the numbers favor Maryland.
* Maryland rushing offense vs. Eastern Michigan rushing defense: The Terps average 186 yards a game and rank 37th nationally. The Eagles yield 182 yards a game and rank 97th nationally. Advantage: Terps
* Maryland passing offense vs. Eastern Michigan pass defense: The Terps average 164.3 yards and rank 94th nationally. The Eagles yield 117 yards a game and rank sixth nationally. Advantage: By the numbers, it’s the Eagles. But why should teams throw it when they can run so effectively?
* Eastern Michigan rushing offense vs. Maryland rushing defense: The Eagles average 224.7 yards and rank 18th nationally. The Terps yield 92.3 yards a game and rank 30th nationally. Advantage: Even
* Eastern Michigan passing offense vs. Maryland passing defense: The Eagles average 190 yards and rank 81st nationally. The Terps yield 278.3 yards and rank 107th nationally. Advantage: Even. Much of Maryland’s problems were caused by the fourth quarter on Saturday’s victory over California. The Terps won’t be quite as bad as the numbers suggest against the pass in the long term.
* Bonus stat: Eastern Michigan ranks 112th nationally in net punting (28.2). Even with multiple punters who can perform rugby-style kicks, the Eagles aren’t winning the field position battle very much.