Football predictions: Foster Farms Bowl

Dec. 29, 2014, 6:53 p.m.

Foster Farms Bowl: Stanford (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) vs. Maryland (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten)

Do-Hyoung Park: Stanford 41, Maryland 9

I swear I’m trying not to be a homer in the slightest with this prediction. Seriously. I’ve been writing up the preview series over the last few days, and to me, Maryland just seems outmatched and outgunned in every aspect of the game except for kicking. The Terps’ offensive line is terrible and Stanford’s front seven is deadly. C.J. Brown is one of the less accurate quarterbacks in the country and he’ll probably be running for his life in the backfield. Star receiver Stefon Diggs is shifty, but Stanford is fantastic at open-field tackling. Meanwhile, Maryland’s defense ranks near the bottom of the Big Ten in pretty much everything meaningful and Stanford’s offense, especially the line, has seriously gelled over the last two games (UCLA’s front seven is loaded with talent). Now, this is bowl season, and anything can happen. But Stanford has everything to lose playing in its backyard and as the biggest favorite of bowl season, and anything short of a blowout will be viewed as a disappointment by fans and media alike. I don’t expect that to be an issue.

David Cohn: Stanford 35, Maryland 10

Do is awfully confident about the Cardinal’s chances in what is essentially a home game for the Card, but I would say that I agree with his confidence heading into this matchup. I certainly endeared myself to Big Ten fans last year, so it is only fitting that Do and I get them further on our side with our predictions for this game. However, before Maryland fans jump on us, I would only say that you should take up this matter with your own ESPN Big Ten blog, as not a single ESPN Big Ten reporter picked the Terrapins to win. I will certainly eat my words if the Cardinal lose, as I am eating my words for last year’s Rose Bowl pick, but if the Cardinal lose in this prime opportunity to build toward 2015, it would be the biggest disappointment in a season full of difficult times.

Ashley Westhem: Stanford 28, Maryland 13

Stanford will win, no doubt, but the spread will depend on Stanford’s offense. Will we see the same team that only put up 14 points against Notre Dame or the one that went to town against UCLA? The Card have only averaged 20 points per game in the last two bowl games that Hogan has been quarterback. Despite the fact that Maryland doesn’t hold a candle to the Big Ten teams Stanford played in those Rose Bowls, I doubt that the offense is going to be able to put up as many points as my fellow writers predict. With Ty Montgomery officially out with a shoulder injury, Maryland cornerback Will Likely will likely (sorry, couldn’t resist) have been preparing to handle Devon Cajuste, one of the Card’s few consistently solid offensive players all season. Cue Christian McCaffrey, though, and another clutch performance from Remound Wright, and the Terps might have an issue covering the Card’s pass and run games. C.J. Brown and the Terps’ offense are no match for Stanford’s front seven. Maryland’s offense will be allowed a touchdown and a couple field goals max. The real question to me is: How many points can Stanford put up?

Michael Peterson: Stanford 35, Maryland 13

Yes, Stanford has lost five games this year. And yes, the Cardinal could, in theory, fall flat again against the Terrapins. But each time the Card have lost, it has been to a ranked team that arguably could have been more talented — a case can be made that USC, Notre Dame, Arizona State, Oregon and Utah all at least matched or neared Stanford in talent level, if not exceeded. However, outside of Washington, the Cardinal throttled all opponents in which they owned the distinct advantage in talent. Make no mistake: Though both teams may be 7-5, Stanford has much greater talent than the Terrapins at most positions on the field. Chalk up a couple of field goals for Maryland kicker Brad Craddock, the Lou Groza Award winner, but otherwise a dominant Stanford victory.

Winston Shi: Stanford 28, Maryland 13

I think Stanford’s going to win, and fairly comfortably. Other people have covered many of the reasons why, so allow me to look at something different. The big question for Stanford is not the margin of victory, but whether it can reach eight wins. Eight wins seems to be the acceptable floor for a great program, and if Stanford can pick up win number eight against the Terrapins, it will send an important signal to recruits across the country that Stanford cannot be counted out just yet. The Cardinal are capable of playing like a top-15 squad, and their demolition of UCLA would still be a highlight for the vast majority of seasons, but in an age when longer seasons and weaker schedules are the norm, 7-6 (and a winning season) doesn’t have the respectable ring that it used to have.

While the Cardinal do not have to dominate every season, they do have to perform at a high level. Otherwise, Stanford’s potential competitors on the recruiting trail can tell players that while Stanford may offer a stronger degree, their programs offer a more visible path to success. (Stanford won’t be able to equal UCLA this year, but Notre Dame, for one, is currently 7-5.) I realize that recruiting isn’t a reason that will get most players ready to roll, but the coaching staff should be well aware that Maryland is a game that Stanford needs to win. Happily, I think it will.

Vihan Lakshman: Stanford 20, Maryland 16

The confidence in the above predictions is pretty overwhelming, but I’m not so sure we can write off Maryland so quickly. There is reason to Fear the Turtle. After being written off by essentially everyone, Randy Edsall’s squad will come out in some ridiculous Under Armour uniforms with a chip on their shoulders and take their shots early and often. With the return of major home-run threat Stefon Diggs, the Terps could make some noise early, especially if Stanford comes out flat. On Tuesday, the Card will have one last chance to string together three wins in a row, but if the offensive consistency issues that have plagued this team rear their heads again, Maryland can definitely make this a ballgame.

At the end of the day, however, Lance Anderson’s defense will be too overwhelming for the Terps, who rank near the bottom of the FBS in converting on third down. Physical teams like Wisconsin and Michigan State had their way with Maryland earlier this season and the Cardinal seemed to rediscover their offensive identity against UCLA. Behind a big day from Remound Wright and the offensive line, Stanford takes control of this game late in the first half and grinds out another victory to end this season on a high note.

Do-Hyoung Park '16, M.S. '17 is the Minnesota Twins beat reporter at, having somehow ensured that his endless hours sunk into The Daily became a shockingly viable career. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer and Business Manager at The Stanford Daily for FY17-18. He also covered Stanford football and baseball for five seasons as a student and served two terms as sports editor and four terms on the copy desk. He was also a color commentator for KZSU 90.1 FM's football broadcast team for the 2015-16 Rose Bowl season.

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