What: Streaking Virginia vists College Park for Maryland's homecoming in the rain
Where: Byrd Field, College Park
Where to Watch: Find a TV or a sports bar: this one's on ESPNU.
In a Nutshell: The biggest factor today might not be either team, but instead the weather. It's going to be raining and cold all day long, making this perfect conditions for a mud bowl. Usually, that's entertaining, but not when it's your team playing.
I mentioned this earlier, but both these teams have split personalities. UVA was 0-3 and lost to William and Mary before beating UNC away and pounding Indiana at home. Maryland is up and down every week. Whichever team shows up with their Jekyll will probably win.
Line play - UVA's offensive line might actually be worse than Maryland's. This means the defensive line might actually have an advantage for once. Making the most of it will be important.
Forcing turnovers - Jameel Sewell's been consistently error-free the last two weeks, and it's transformed into two wins. The previous three games, UVA had ten turnovers, and predictably lost all of them. Force a TO or two, and Maryland's chances get a lot better.
Get the running game up and running - Davin Meggett's breakout game last year was against NCSt in the driving rain. It was too rainy to throw the ball, and had to rely on Meggett. That'll be the case tomorrow, too; expect Maryland to keep the ball on the ground and lean on Meggett, Gary Douglas, and (hopefully) Caleb Porzel.
Who to Watch:
- Rashawn Jackson, RB/FB, Virginia - If Mikell Simpson can't go, Jackson will be UVA's primary back. If he is, the bruiser couldn't ask for a better setting than rain.
- Steve Greer, ILB, Virginia - Folks, get ready to meet Alex Wujciak Jr. Greer's a tackle machine, so expect him to have a busy day as Maryland attempts to exploit UVA's weaker middle.
- Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland - "Mouse", as he was called as a child, apparently, is always dangerous; throw in the revenge factor, and UVA's got a serious problem on their hands.
- Travis Ivey, DT, Maryland - Like I said, UVA's line is worse than Maryland's. Ivey, probably Maryland's best lineman, has to take advantage of that and make some plays in the backfield.
Five game-day predictions: Maryland-Virginia - D1SCOURSE
"3. Torrey Smith will surpass Darrius Heyward-Bey's production from last year. Yes, the weather is lousy. But Smith needs only 90 yards to match DHB's output of 609 receiving yards from last season. It won't be easy, but here's guessing he'll be aided by one long play and a whole bunch of shorter ones."
Terps reach critical point in salvage mission - Washington Times
'"I wouldn't say there's tension," safety Terrell Skinner said before pausing briefly. "There's a little uneasy feeling. Nobody likes to lose, coming off a loss and everything. It's kind of like our job is on the line. We want to win an ACC championship. You could say there's a little tension."'
U.Va. looks to continue momentum against Maryland - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"It’s possibly the most important game of the season so far for both teams. When Virginia faces Maryland today in College Park, the winner seizes momentum and a spot near the top of their respective divisions in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings. For the loser, it could be enough to hamper bowl dreams. The Cavs started with an 0-3 record but have an unblemished mark in ACC play after knocking off North Carolina. A victory would give them a three-game winning streak going into games against Georgia Tech and Duke."
Familiar faces dot Cavs', Terps' lines - FLS
""All these guys have known each other, went to school together, competed against each other for years," Clark said. "There's a lot of personal emotion that goes into that It's not 'This is another team on our schedule.' This is backyard football. You feel like you can go pick up a game in the streets and play these same guys.""
Terps' defense looks to rebound - The Capital
"In addition, quarterback Jameel Sewell and all-purpose back Mikell Simpson have found their stride. Sewell passed for 308 yards against Indiana after throwing for 312 yards against Southern Miss two weeks earlier. Simpson, meanwhile, had 149 all-purpose yards and four rushing touchdowns against Indiana."
Maryland vs. Virginia: Hey, At Least It's On TV - DCist
"Prediction: 30-27 Virginia. Virginia quarterback Jameel Sewell is not Riley Skinner, but his mobility adds another dimension to his game and might be a concern for the Maryland defense. Virginia's offensive line is also more polished than the Terps, so if Simpson sees the field, expect him to gain significant yardage on the ground."
U.Va. and Maryland on same path - HamptonRoads.com
"Virginia's "not one of my favorite teams," Maryland linebacker Alex Wujciak told the Baltimore Sun this week. "We're two different schools, two different atmospheres, two different types of kids. There are no shirts and ties and khakis in College Park. None of us want to wear that type of stuff.""
Scouting report: Maryland vs. Virginia -- Sun
"Virginia's defense is led by its secondary, which hasn't allowed more than 190 passing yards in a game and surrenders 163.2 yards per outing - 15th fewest nationally. The Terps will need to revive their dormant running game, which has struggled to find holes behind an inexperienced offensive line. Virginia's rush defense gave up more than 200 yards in losses to Southern Mississippi and Texas Christian."