Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE
Building up throughout the week, we didn't know if Maryland's best running back, true freshman Wes Brown, would play against N.C. State, giving the Terrapins' much-maligned running game a badly-needed boost. And now ... we still don't know.
Maryland released its injury report for Saturday earlier today, and Brown is still listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. Other notables: starting left guard Bennett Fulper and starting safety Matt Robinson are both out, and will probably be replaced by Josh Cary and Anthony Nixon. Center Sal Conaboy is unlikely to play, too, which would force Evan Mulrooney into the starting lineup. (And if Mulrooney goes down, they turn to ... I don't know. Fulper was the emergency option at center.) Oh, and Justin Gilbert, starting right tackle, is questionable, too.
For an offensive line that frankly wasn't all that great to start with, that's a lot of injuries to be dealing with at once. I'll say what I said earlier: Maryland has exactly two offensive line starters who are healthy and first-stringers by choice, and they're the two freshmen. It's not ideal, to say the least, and Saturday will be quite the challenge when Maryland has the ball. Brown will be able to play if Maryland's lucky, and if I had to guess I'd say it's likely he does ultimately suit up. Randy Edsall said he was going to reassess Brown in practice today; if things weren't good, he'd be listed as out. That he's questionable - not even doubtful, but questionable - means he had at least a satisfactory practice. So unless something gets worse between now and kickoff, Brown should be suiting up.
If he does take the field, it'll be good news for Maryland, given that he's their most productive back by a country mile, and best suited for the downhill running attack they're trying to craft. (Well, Brandon Ross might give him a bit of a run for that latter part.) But without much of a line to block for him, I'm not sure how big an impact he'll have.
The defense, though, is relatively healthy. Another strong game for Anthony Nixon, and there'll be a backlog of safeties to sort through for Maryland's coaching staff. Still ... I think pulling off the upset just got a little tougher.