This is weird. Maryland is heading into Duke, and is not favored. If it were basketball, we wouldn’t really think anything about it. However, this is football, and that is a sad state of affairs. Enough, about what could have been and let’s take a look at the Devils. First of all, they are coming off a bye, so they have had an extra week to prepare for the Terps. First of all Duke is 3-3 coming into this game, with losses to Richmond, Kansas and Virginia Tech. Their wins are against:Army, North Carolina Central, and NC State. Keep in mind they hung around with VT for most of the game. I don’t think it will be the same when the Hokies come to College Park.
Statistically, Duke is led by QB Thaddeus Lewis. He is 134 for 213 for 1,601 yards, with 12 TD’s and only two interceptions. He also has 3 rushing TD’s. There is no secret. For the Terps to win, they will have to keep Lewis from taking over the game. Duke has 3 running backs that have over 100 yards rushing. Only two will be suiting up vs the Terps. Starting RB Re’qaun Boyette (103 yards) is out due to injury. Look for Desmond Scott (31 carries for 147 yards) and Patrick Kurunwune (26 carries for 123 yards) to split carries for the Devils.
Now lets take a look at Lewis’ favorite targets. Duke features four receivers that have over 20 catches. Donovan Varner leads the way with 427 yards on 27 catches. The other receivers to watch are Connor Vernon, Austin Kelley and Johnny Williams. It should be interesting to see how Don Brown’s injury depleted defense matches up with Duke’s passing attack.
As a team Duke is averaging 31.8 points per game, and allowing 27.2 per game. They are third in the ACC in total offense with 397.5 yards per game and allow 358.8 yards. They are last in rushing offense with only 83 yards, but are first in passing with 314 yards per game. Defensively they allow 150.8 yards per game on the ground, and 208.5 passing yards per game.
So what does it all mean? Who knows. This Terps team has been a head scratcher. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pulled it out, but then again I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost by more than 10 points. It really comes down to ball control for the Maryland offense, and if the past is any indication of what to expect, they are in trouble.
Just a few notes for Maryland before I end this. Gary Douglas is out with a shoulder injury, so the traveling running backs for the Terps are Davin Meggett, Morgan Green, Caleb Porzel, and DJ Adams. Friedgen had a quote about Green, saying this may have been his best week of practice. He is very pleased with the effort he has been giving in practice this week. Here’s to you getting your chance Morgan. Freidgen also, said the package for Porzel will be a little bigger this week. James Franklin has indicated they may try a couple more plays with Torrey Smith under center in a wildcat formation.
If you want to keep and long shot chances at a bowl game, this is one the Terps absolutely need have to have. A loss here and you can start to think about trying to figure out what they might have for next year. Until Saturday, go Terps!