There have been some rumors about serious suspensions hitting for Wake Forest before the game at Maryland tomorrow. That shoe dropped today:
Suspensions for Maryland game: Noel, Mack, Olson, Souza, Martin and Willis.Boom goes the dynamite.— Jake S (@BloggerSoDear) October 5, 2012
Jim Grobe on six suspensions: "These are good kids who just need to learn from their mistakes."All six eligible to return for next game.— Kenny Beck (@kennybeckWXII) October 5, 2012
The six players out: Merrill Noel, starting cornerback; Daniel Mack, starting safety; Mike Olson, starting middle linebacker and leading tackler; Frank Souza, starting guard; Deandre Martin, #2 running back; and Airyn Willis, a reserve wide receiver.
This might be a little uncouth, but man: Maryland finally got some serious luck. A giant set of one-game suspensions falling on this game, of all games? The football gods might be starting to even things out after the C.J. Brown and Andre Monroe injuries.
Frankly, this a pretty crushing blow to Wake's chances. Maryland was probably the better team to begin with, and most were thinking they'd win. Now take out their top cornerback (who was probably expected to check Stefon Diggs), their best safety, their best linebacker, a key cog to a massively inexperienced offensive line, and probably their second-most dangerous offensive weapon, and ... yeah, you get the picture.
Sometimes when a big group of suspensions hits, the team rallies and shows a bit of extra fight. Coming off a loss to Duke and going on the road, that seems unlikely here. But even if it happens, Maryland's now the vastly better team, and if they show up prepared and fighting should still be able to win. Wake Forest's conference-worst defense, in particular, took the hardest hits. The Terps really, really need their offense to show up tomorrow; if they do, they could have a huge game. If they have an off-day, they'll be letting Wake Forest off the hook in a very difficult situation for them.
I think it's safe to say that Maryland is now a more dangerous team than Wake Forest in every aspect, unit-by-unit, if they weren't already. And with every other advantage they have - a home game, non-noon kick, bye week, not losing a quarter of their starting defense - I might need to revise my prediction a bit. This is a potential three-score type of game.