What: A surprisingly solid Duke team takes on floundering Maryland
Where: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
Where to Watch: ESPN360 only, folks
In a Nutshell: This is where Maryland takes their stand. I can swallow losing to UVA, as much as I don't like it. But Duke? God, I really don't want to lose to them.
Sadly, Duke's got a pretty good team this year. Thaddeus Lewis is the best QB in the ACC, and their defense is just good enough to get the ball in his hands. They'll pass the ball a ton, but blitzing may not be a great idea: Lewis would eat up single coverage, open receivers, or holes in the field. That's what he specializes in.
- Force them to run: The opposite of Cal last year, sell out against the pass, let Moten spy Lewis, and make them run the ball. If they beat Maryland doing that, so be it. I don't think they will.
- Playing Porzel: Caleb Porzel is the only back on the roster with the ability to break a long run. I have a feeling he'll do it today against a below-average Duke defense, provided he gets the opportunities.
- Torrey Smith: GIVE HIM THE BALL. That is all.
Players to Watch:
- Thaddeus Lewis, QB, Duke - A bit obvious, but he's the star of the team, and beating Duke will require beating him.
- Vince Oghobaase, DT, Duke - He's the star of the defensive line like Lewis is the star of the QB. Despite weak stats, Justin Lewis (or whoever they throw in there) is no match for him.
- Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland - Give him the ball. Give him the ball. Give him the ball.
- Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland - Wujciak is notoriously poor in pass coverage. Sadly, he'll probably be in it all day long. I hope to see Darrin Drakeford or Avery Murray taking his place a few times today.
Turnover woes have cut deep for Maryland - WT
'"Maybe we just need to go out and relax and play and have a good time and let it go," Friedgen said. "Maybe that's the way to approach this whole thing. Can't do any worse than what we've been doing. So to me, let's get after people, have a good time and enjoy the day." '
Five game-day predictions: Maryland-Duke - D1scourse
"3. Caleb Porzel will start --- or at least carry a significant portion of the load. Here's the thinking behind starting Porzel. He's faster than anything else Maryland has. His redshirt is already gone, so it's time to start using him more. And he hasn't fumbled yet. Just a hunch, but this might be a day we see a whole lot of the electric freshman. That includes on kickoff returns, where he would be a fine complement to Torrey Smith as a second (relatively) deep man."
CFN: Duke 35, Maryland 27
"The hottest quarterback in the ACC? How about Blue Devil veteran Thaddeus Lewis, who has accounted for 11 touchdowns and no picks over the last three games? His corps of receivers is growing deeper and more mature with each passing game. He can spread the ball around to a number of different capable hands, including receivers Donovan Varner, Conner Vernon, Austin Kelly, and Johnny Williams. The Terps’ league-worst scoring defense and inexperienced secondary doesn’t figure to offer too much resistance. "
Duke favored over Terps - Herald-Sun
"It’s been rare in recent seasons for the Blue Devils to be favored against an ACC foe, but how could they not be? Duke (3-3, 1-1 ACC) put up 49 points in a breakthrough victory at N.C. State on Oct. 10 before an open week; Maryland (2-5, 1-2) ranks last in the ACC in scoring defense and in scoring offense."
Terps Need a Win, This Time At Duke
'“I’ve been admiring Thaddeus Lewis since he was a true freshman playing,” Friedgen said. “Now he’s a senior [and] he’s very polished. He has a nice release, he sees the field and he’s very elusive.”'