8-5 (5-3), 4th Big Ten
8-4 (5-3), 2nd Atlantic Coast - Atlantic
The Champs Sports Bowl matches two teams up that are returning to the bowl season after a year (or more) layoff. Purdue bounced back to get back to a bowl game after their dismal season last year while Maryland is playing in their first bowl game since 2003.
On the outside Maryland's 8-4 record looks impressive, but if you look closer at their games they were very fortunate. They lost their final two games and it could have easily been their final four games. They beat Miami and Clemson by a combined 2 points and overall they give up more yards per game than they gain.
The Terrapins are led at QB by Sam Hollenbach who has had his ups and downs throughout the season. Hollenback has thrown for over 2100 yards with 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In the backfield both Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore share the load carrying the ball. Both players have over 650 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns between the two. Josh Wilson is a thread returning kickoffs averaging 28 yards a return and has a 100 yard return for a touchdown.
Purdue also gives up more yards than it gains, but by only a small margin. The Boilermakers are led at QB by Curtis Painter. Painter is an improving QB who has put up some really impressive numbers throwing for 3721 yards and 21 touchdowns but he has a problem turning the ball over. In the 13 games this season he has 18 interceptions. Jaycen Taylor and Kory Sheets share the duty in the backfield combining for over 1400 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Keep an eye on Dorien Bryant at receiver, this guy is a playmaker. Bryant has 900 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns. He is also an important part to the kickoff return team.
Both teams have issues stopping their opponents. But digging deep and looking at these teams I really believe that Maryland is extremely lucky to have 8 wins this season. Sometimes luck is good but if you aren't a good team it will come out sooner or later. Their last two games against good teams where there lost were no fluke. Joe Tiller will have a few tricks up his sleeve for the Fridge and keep a watch-out for the Painter to Bryant combo. It should be in full effect. Purdue 34-24
Brian from CFR