College Football Betting: Maryland at Florida International

College Football Betting:  Maryland at Florida International

Things didn’t go well for Maryland in the Big 10 last year and now DJ Durkin will try to improve on that in his first year as Terps’ head coach. Durkin is considered a real up and comer in college football coaching and is a ‘dual threat’ coach–he’s solid tactically (former defensive coordinator at Michigan) and an excellent recruiter (he demonstrated his ability here during his time at the University of Florida). It’s easy to dismiss last week’s 52-13 thrashing of Howard as the inevitable result of facing a FCS team that went 1-10 last year. That’s not really fair as the Terps showed a lot of good things here and could end up being one of the most improved teams in college football this season.

The reality is that Florida International isn’t much better than a FCS team despite playing in Conference USA. Turner had only two winning seasons in eight years at Illinois compiling an overall record of 35-57 and has had similar results with FIU. He can claim the team is ‘heading in the right direction’ as he starts season #4 at the helm but at some point he’s got to do better than last year’s 5-7 record. He’s 10-27 since taking over the Florida International gig and got off to a rough start this season losing 34-13 against Indiana. The Hoosiers were a losing team a year ago yet were a -10 chalk on FIU’s home field.

Interesting that the Terps are also -10 favorites this week when in my view Maryland is much further along than Indiana. FIU had no luck running the ball against Indiana (60 yards rushing) and it’s unlikely to get better this week. They also turned the ball over three times and that’s an area where you might not see much improvement over the course of the season. Maryland has the edge in every phase of the game–offense, defense, special teams and a huge edge in coaching. There’s also a tangible motivation for the road team–Durkin will likely be working Florida recruiting hard as he rebuilds Maryland so this game is important as he builds their ‘rep’ in the state.