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MSU vs. Maryland preview: Spartans seek bounce-back

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Maryland: Players to watch

C.J. Brown, QB: The fifth-year senior is an effective dual-threat who has the Terrapins scoring better than 30 points and bowl eligible for the second straight season. He is one of 12 active FBS players to pass for 4,000 or more yards and rush for 1,000 or more yards in a career. The son of former Michigan State QB Clark Brown, C.J. Brown has 6,103 yards, third in Maryland history.

Will Likely, CB: The sophomore is tied for the Big Ten lead with five INTs and tied for second in passes defended with 11. His five INTs are the most in a season at Maryland since 2002, and he has returned two for TDs.

Deon Long, WR: With Stefon Diggs suspended (striking official), Long should be the go-to guy for QB C.J. Brown. The senior is second on the team with 35 catches and 389 years and has caught a pass in 15 of 16 career games.


Bounce back: Michigan State is coming off a devastating loss to Ohio State, a game that essentially ended the Spartans playoff hopes and more than likely halted any plans on a return trip to the Big Ten championship game. The key for Michigan State will be to not allow one loss to turn into two.

New faces: Michigan State is playing Maryland for the first time as members of the Big Ten Conference, and the teams haven't played since 1950. As the Big Ten continues to push East, the Spartans would like to take advantage of recruiting they had begun in the region and bi-annual games in College Park would be an asset to those efforts.

Feather in the cap: Maryland beat Penn State for the second time in its history two weeks ago to become bowl-eligible for the second straight season under coach Randy Edsall. A victory over a highly-ranked team would be a huge boost.

Coming home: The game is the first in his native state for Michigan State junior LB Darien Harris (DeMatha Catholic High, Silver Spring). The game is also a chance for Michigan State offensive coordinator Dave Warner to face Maryland coach Randy Edsall, a former college teammate at Syracuse.

Prime time: The Spartans are back under the lights a second straight week and the fourth time this season, the most in school history. Coach Mark Dantonio is 8-5 in night games at Michigan State, with all eight coming at Spartan Stadium.

Facts and figures

■ Michigan State is 21-9 in road games under coach Mark Dantonio, including an eight-game winning streak and a 14-3 mark since 2010. Dantonio has won at least one road game at every stadium in the Big Ten, excluding Maryland and Rutgers who joined the conference this season. The eight-game road winning streak in conference is the longest in school history.

■ Despite last week's defeat, Michigan State is 18-6 in November under coach Mark Dantonio, and the Spartans have won 12 of their last 15 in the month.

■ While the Michigan State defense struggled against Ohio State, the offense continues to be one of the most prolific in school history. The 401 points through nine games is fifth and the 52 TDs in two shy of the record set in 1978.

■ Maryland had five sacks against Penn State and has 18 overall, tied for second in the Big Ten with Wisconsin. Adding to that total could be difficult this week — Michigan State has allowed six sacks, best in the Big Ten.

■ Michigan State fifth-year senior DE Marcus Rush is set to start his 50th career game to become the school leader. Former OL Joel Foreman and LB Eric Gordon started 49.