The Teams: Maryland Terrapins 4-2 (2-0) vs. N.C. State 4-2 (1-1)
The Site: Byrd Stadium. College Park, Maryland
The Time: Saturday, 3:30 pm
TV, Radio, Internet: ESPNU (TV), ESPN 980 (Radio), ESPN3 (Internet)
The Coaches: Randy Edsall (6-12 at Maryland) and Tom O’Brien (33-30 at N.C. State)
The History: A dead even heat against one another, with both teams at 32-32-4. N.C. State beat Maryland in Raleigh last year 56-41, but the Terrapins have won the last three at home.
The Maryland Terrapins are going up against an N.C. State team that isn’t great at anything, but is solid in most aspects of the game. They have a streaky defense, a streaky offense, and a streaky kicker. The Wolfpack are fresh off a victory against the (then) third ranked team in the country in Florida State, but it’s anyone’s guess as to which team is going to show up for the Terrapins homecoming game.
Maryland, meanwhile, fended off a Virginia team looking to make a dramatic comeback during their homecoming game last Saturday in a 27-20 victory. The Terrapins are currently sitting atop the ACC with two conference wins, but the notion that they are a paper tiger won’t dissipate until they beat a quality opponent. Handing a loss to N.C. State might be able to do the trick, as it would be the second team they will have beaten with a winning record.
Key Questions and Storylines
1.) Turtles don’t run
It is well known that turtles can be incredibly slow terrestrial reptiles, and this Maryland team is the embodiment of that statement. Slow and steady wins the race, but the Terrapins have been neither slow or steady (or even in motion, for that matter) with their run game. It is quite literally nonexistent; Justus Pickett rushed 15 times for a counterproductive -8 yards last week. If the Terrapins cannot get any semblance of a running game going, then this season could get old really quickly.
They are the third worst team in the nation at running the ball, and it could very well catch up to them against an N.C. State team that hasn’t been completely dreadful at stopping the run this season. If Pickett, Brown, Ross, and Reid cannot get it going this week, that puts even more pressure on Perry Hills to do spectacular things against a secondary that is, well, very talented. They happen to have one of the best players in the nation manning one of their DB spots, and he happens to excel at picking off quarterbacks.
So for Perry’s sake, pick it up, Pickett.
2.) Can Perry play a full game?
This season, freshman quarterback Perry Hills has been respectable in two out of four quarters pretty much every game. He gets an early lead in the first, or marches the team downfield with a deep ball to receiver Stefon Diggs. In the fourth, he attempts to mount a comeback and oftentimes performs admirably (the stats even back that up). That being said, the Terrapins are so-so in the second quarter, and downright brutal in the third. Against bad teams, that can be covered up. Against good teams? Well…
N.C. State isn’t a bad team, don’t believe the hype that they are overrated. They are rated, and their quarterback can shred a lot of teams depending on the day. The Terrapins cannot afford to get down early, and they cannot afford to have two scoreless quarters if they happen to start off strong as usual. Perry Hills and the offense are going to have to keep piling it on if they get anything going early. Taking a break means losing the game. Hills is going up against one of the worst teams at defending the pass in the ACC, so that might be a possibility for him. Then again, Perry Hills is a freshman with a shoddy offensive line and no run game.
3.) Maryland WR Stefon Diggs vs N.C. State DB David Amerson
This is probably one of the most challenging matchups young Diggs will be facing all season, as Amerson was is an All-American corner with both size (he is 6’3) and skill (he had 13 interceptions last year). While Diggs has been great at shredding anything that comes his way up until this point, he has not been pushed to the limits this year against top-shelf talent (West Virginia DBs aren’t necessarily world beaters). Well, this week he does.
Amerson loves to pick players off, but he also seems to take particular pride in getting beaten deep by speedy receivers because he’s out of position. Case in point? Stephen Morris of Miami shredded him three weeks ago, as he was responsible for four touchdown passes. Morris doesn’t exactly set the world on fire, and he exposed some of Amerson’s flaws as a player. Diggs could pose the same threat, but that is also contingent on the guy throwing him the ball to place it properly. Either way, two great players going up against one another should be awesome to watch, as Amerson will surely be tasked with guarding Diggs when they play man-to-man.
Song Parody of the Week
To the tune of “Raise Up” by Petey Pablo
Who am I? Testudo Mutha ****
Not the first to shove it down on N.C. State
But guess what? (What?) They’re still worthless.
Got no linebackers; the best one was a juice snacker,
And-you-won’t see him, cuz.
We got a Terrapin logo on the front and back,
and got a LB in the middle make your QB sack-sack.
But it ain’t just that; we got tackle after tackle who can drive y’all back here
Big Fellas (six, fellas)
Half our DTs and my LBs on D, well, are gonna tire y’all.
Tate, Hartsfield, Francis, Vellano
Darin Drakeford, Darius Kilgo
Terps over here, Terps over there
Aberdeen, Annapolis, Baltimore, Brunswick
Down Rt. 1, we got College Park and Hyattsville
Rockville, Gaithersburg, Bowie, Frederick, Frostburg.
And all my Turtles doing work in McKeldin
This right here right here right here to
(Refrain) Stomp Carolina!
Cause we know they suck.
Take your wolf pelt off,
Twist it ’round your head
Spin it like a helicopter.
Cause we know they suck.
This one’s for you? Nah bro.
This one’s for who? Testudo!