Get to know Iowa's next opponent: Big Ten rookie Maryland
IOWA CITY, Ia. – It sounded as if Carl Davis was entering a new frontier.
"I don't know what it's going to be like," Iowa's defensive tackle said of Saturday's game at Big Ten newcomer Maryland. "It's all football. That's all that matters."
The Hawkeyes (5-1, 2-0 in the Big Ten) have never played the Terrapins (4-2, 1-1), so an 11 a.m. showdown in College Park, Md., really does mark the dawn of a post-realignment rivalry.
"We've seen them, just from the tape," Iowa safety John Lowdermilk said. "They're an explosive offense. They've got good receivers. I don't know what quarterback we'll see, but …"
C.J. Brown is listed as Maryland's starting quarterback, but he's been hampered by a sore left wrist.
Caleb Rowe replaced Brown in the second half of a 52-24 loss to Ohio State on Oct. 4.
Together, they are completing 59 percent of their passes for 1,556 yards, 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
It should be noted: The Terrapins have won seven of the last 10 games in which they've passed for more than 250 yards.
"C.J. is our quarterback, Caleb is our backup," Maryland coach Randy Edsall told reporters. "I can't make it any clearer than that. There's no controversy here."
So what else should Hawkeye followers know about their newest Big Ten nemesis?
* Edsall rebuilt the program following a 2-10 record in 2011, finishing with a 7-6 mark last season.
* Brown is the Terrapins' leading rusher with 263 yards, while seven different players have caught at least six passes.
* The defense ranks 13th in the Big Ten when it comes to stopping the run, allowing 212 yards per game, and is 11th against the pass, giving up 239.2 through the air.
But those numbers could be a little misleading.
"They have a good defense," Davis said. "They have some big guys up front and they've got some good linebackers who go to the ball."
Davis and Lowdermilk caught a glimpse of Maryland while preparing for last week's game against Indiana.
The Hawkeyes beat the Hoosiers 45-29 at Kinnick Stadium. The Terrapins beat them 37-15 on Sept. 27 in Bloomington, Ind.
"It feels like a Big Ten game," Lowdermilk said. "It's obviously different, because they've never been in the conference before."
This will take some getting used to.
Iowa has Herky the Hawkeye. Maryland's mascot is Testudo, a diamondback turtle.
In Iowa City they celebrate by singing, "In Heaven There is No Beer." Terrapin fans clinch their firsts during the school's victory song, and chant M-A-R-Y-L-A-N-D.
Iowans love pork loin. Marylanders prefer crab cakes.
"I really feel like they're a Big Ten team," Davis said. "They're definitely competitors."