Well, now that the pipe dream of having the local professional baseball teams do anything in the playoffs is over we can get back to more important things…like Maryland football. The Terps head in to today’s rivalry game against the Virginia Cavaliers with a 3-2 (1-0 in ACC play) record after last weekends gutsy victory over the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. Today presents an opportunity for Edsall & Co., to double last years win total and move one step closer to what makes coaches seats a little cooler; bowl eligibility.
Without further ado, here are some particulars on today’s matchup and five questions that will need to be answered between now and the end of this afternoons game.
Time: 3 pm
Place: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA
Television: Comcast Sportsnet
Line: UVA -1.5
Keys To Success:
1) Can you Diggs it?
Stefon Diggs continues to show why he was as highly touted a prospect as he was coming out of Good Counsel High School. For the Terps to be successful in their mission to Charlottesville Diggs will need to be a major factor for the offense today. Each week it seems as if Perry Hills is getting more and more comfortable with his top target on the outside and that is something that will need to continue for Maryland to grab that fourth win of the season.
2) The Four Horsemen at running back will need to turn into a three headed monster.
With the news that leading rusher Wes Brown will miss today’s contest it is even more imperative that the Terps have spectacular efforts out of the rest of our stable of runners. While the loss of Brown will certainly hurt the rest of our RB corps has more than proven they are capable of “carrying the load” for Maryland. Being able to control tempo by moving the ball effectively on the ground will tire out the Cavaliers defense and will greatly increase the Terps chances of leaving UVA with a victory.
3) Containing Phillip Sims.
The Alabama transfer stepped in for incumbent QB Mike Rocco last week against Duke and while he didn’t blow anyone away with his performance against the Blue Devils he was one of the nations most sought after passers coming out of HS for a reason. The kid can flat out play. It will take another dominant effort out of the Terps defense and the LB formerly known as Kenny Tate to keep Sims and the UVA offense in check. Much like Maryland did with Geno Smith I would expect for defensive coordinator Brian Stewart to try and get after Sims early and often knocking him to the ground and making him uncomfortable in the pocket.
4) The Hills Are Alive
Perry Hills needs to be closer to the QB he was against WVU than the signal caller he was last weekend against Wake Forest for the Terps to have a chance to ruin the Cavaliers homecoming game. How’s he do that you may ask? By getting any QB’s safety blanket involved early and often, I am clearly referring to Maryland TE Matt Furstenburg. By solidifying him as a threat in the passing game it should open things up for big plays to Diggs and the rest of the WR corps. Having an effective passing game will also open things up for the rushing game. It may sound trivial but Maryland must have a big game from their freshman QB to win today.
5) Win the Border War
This is a rivalry for a reason, if you can’t get up for a chance to ruin your natural rivals homecoming then you shouldn’t be suiting up for the game. We don’t like UVA and they don’t like us its that simple. Every senior on this roster wants to close out this series against the Wahoos with a win and the young guns getting their first taste of what a UVA-UMD will soon find out why this game means a lot to Terps fans. Hopefully Edsall hammers this point home to the team and they go out and manage those emotions that go into games like this and bring a W and a 4-2 record back to College Park tonight.