As the Foster Farms Bowl quickly approaches, the Maryland Terrapins remain one of the biggest underdogs of the entire bowl season. Still, those same Terrapins received a little bit of help Sunday when news broke that Stanford Cardinal do-it-all wide receiver Ty Montgomery was ruled out for the contest. Montgomery has been dealing with a lingering shoulder injury that has since caused him to miss the season finale against UCLA as well as undergo off-season surgery a year ago.
Head coach David Shaw said that if the game fell later in the week he felt Montgomery would have been able to play, but instead the Stanford training staff decided to err on the side of caution. At times this season, Montgomery was the entire Cardinal offense and not having him will significantly hurt their ability to move the football through the air as well as on special teams. Despite the loss, Stanford remains significant favorites over Maryland and has beaten unranked teams by an average of 24.8 points per game according to ESPN analyst David Lombardi.
In 2014, Montgomery caught 61 passes for 604 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 123 rushing yards and two additional scores. The senior is also a key part of the team’s special teams returning punts and kickoffs for an average of just over 25 yards per return. NFL Draft analysts project Montgomery will be selected as high as the second round, but any signs of long-term injury problems could scare some teams away from reaching for the versatile wide out. Still, Montgomery will have the opportunity to improve his draft status with a strong NFL combine that will allow him to display his excellent speed and hands.
On December 30, Stanford aims to win their first bowl game since the 2012 Rose Bowl, and just their second bowl win under coach Shaw. The victory would bring their overall record to 8-5 and end the year on a high note after an otherwise disappointing season.
*Section Photo credit to Ezra Shaw, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Bob Stanton, USA Today Sports