Alas, the dream ends tomorrow, as we have to return to covering the football team (but men's basketball countdown starts tomorrow too!). Next week's opponent is none other than the North Carolina State Wolfpack, also known as the only team below Maryland in the ACC Atlantic.
They had a chance to break out of that today against Florida State, and nearly did, but lost to the Noles in the final minute.
They were up 42-38 on FSU with just over 3 minutes left, and the Noles drove down the field and scored a TD with 1:36 left. Even though they lost, they proved a very scary thing: they can put up a lot of points against a less than porous defense.
Starting QB and future MLB 2B Russell Wilson was 20-29 with five TDs for 349 yards. The Wuffies put up a total of 538 yards, and six total TDs. FSU's D isn't impeccable, but they have been decent, and certainly better than Maryland. I shudder to think what Wilson will do to this secondary.
On the good side, their defense was worse than their offense was good. They allowed 555 yards and 45 points, 5 of which came on the ground.
The good news for Maryland is that they were absolutely gashed against the run; Jermaine Thomas averaged nearly 10 yards a carry and had 183 yards; as a team, FSU averaged 8 yards per carry and put up 278 yards on just 33 carries.
The bad news is that they shut down former fantastical (that is, not really) Heisman candidate Christian Ponder, who had been looking great the past few weeks and had thrown just one interception all year. Today, he was 26 of 40 for 277 yards, but threw just one TD and threw two interceptions - if you weren't paying attention, he tripled his interception total today.
Unfortunately, none of Maryland's offensive line, running backs, or QB is as talented as FSU's, so expecting a similar level of success might be more far-fetched.
That said, I haven't done any research on NCSt yet, so this might be an outlier; we'll know more in a few days.