1.) Mike Glennon is going to be neutralized
Against West Virginia, the Terrapins faced a better quarterback than Glennon and while they lost thegame, the defense showed that they could go up against even the best offense possible. North Carolina State is not in the same stratosphere as West Virginia and Geno Smith’s offense, so I expect Maryland to do a very good job attacking Glennon. When he faced a persistent pass rush against Connecticut, he struggled to complete 50% of his passes and their offense got stale. Look for the Terrapins to put pressure on Glennon every time he drops back and frustrate him to no end.
2.) Maryland’s running game is still going to stink
Injuries, injuries and more injuries have led to the only two legitimate first string starters on the offensive line to be two freshmen. That is a recipe for your quarterback to get sacked on handoffs and your running back to get bulldozed before he hits the line of scrimmage. I fully expect something similar to that to occur today, as the Terrapins simple don’t have enough health to really establish a ground game. Then again, the Terrapins have relied on freshmen to get them to this point in the season, so why couldn’t a somewhat healthy Wes Brown go off on a homecoming game that former and current classmates will be sure to attend?
3.) Maryland is finally going to get some turnovers
With all that consistent quarterback pressure I anticipate, I think it’s fair time that the Terrapins improve on their low turnover total on defense. This year they only have three interceptions, and I think it’s safe to say they’d like some more. Glennon has thrown three picks in his last two games, and there is a good chance he could up his season total to eight by the end of the game. Maryland’s defense is going to have plenty of opportunities, they just need to capitalize on them.
Losing safety Matt Robinson for the game is going to hurt, but in all likelihood someone will fill in for him and Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart will make it work. It is him, after all, who is the mastermind behind this defense and who has managed to overcome injury in the past.
4.) Perry Hills is going to have a rough go of things today
I’m not trying to be a Debbie downer here, but I have a terrible feeling about Maryland’s offense heading into this game. I know they are bad, but I have a feeling they could be downright dreadful this game. Hills top target in Stefon Diggs is going to have a tough matchup against David Amerson on the other side of the field, and Perry hasn’t exactly been passing to a bunch of different receivers. If that eliminates a big threat, then Perry Hills will have his work cut out for him.
Given that this team just held Florida State’s offense to 16 points AND they’re coming off a bye week in which they had plenty of time to watch the Terrapins play? The job just gets a whole lot tougher is all I’m saying. Maryland managed to hold off Virginia last week, but N.C. State is a lot better than Virginia.
5.) NC State will rush for 100+ yards
The Wolfpack don’t have a feature running back, to be sure. I still expect their running back by committee to legitimately be effective. Last week against Virginia, the Terrapins had serious issues containing backs on the outside. Virginia’s Kevin Parks are then up by going wide on numerous plays. I expect State to take some cues on that performance and establish the run really.
It isn’t a good thing for Maryland, but they are going to have to stop the run early or the passing game for NC State could kill them later in the game.