When covering Terps sporting events on Testudotimes, I've tried to remain impartial about the team we were playing; that ends today. Of all the schools in the Nation, I despise UVA with the passion of 1,000 suns. I hope Maryland is able to capitalize on UVA being down this year and really takes it to them. Here is what we can expect in the game today:
1. Chris Turner vs. UVA secondary
UVA's secondary seems to be inconsistent this year. Against USC, they gave up 350 yards passing, yet against UConn and Duke, they gave up less than 200 yards passing and lost both games. I'm thinking a large part of that was due to the fact that the were giving up big yardage numbers on the ground and thus throwing the ball wasn't necessary. I'm expecting the Terps to try and establish the running game early and to get Turner into a rhythm early, which is something Offensive Coordinator James Franklin has said he likes to do with Turner. Heyward-Bey should be Turner's best friend today. I expect the Terps to try to get him the ball and make plays from the get go. Look for Maryland to try to get Darrius the ball in the flats and have him do all of the work, rather than forcing the ball deep down field.
2. Scott and UMD's running game vs. UVA's run defense
UVA has given up some huge rushing totals against USC and UConn, over 500 yards in those two games on 90+ attempts. They've held teams like Duke and Richmond to under 100 yards (and still only won one of those games). I expect MD to run all over UVA's D with the best running back in the ACC in Scott.
3. UVAs Pass vs. MD's pass D.
Maryland is banged up in the secondary and the bye next week probably couldn't come at a better time, giving the Terps time to heal before facing Wake and what is probably the toughest part of their schedule. Despite the injury problems in the Terps secondary, I think they should still have a good day at the office against UVA. The quarterback for the Cavilers is Marc Verica who has been less than stunning this year as the signal callers for UVA. He doesn't seem to be able to throw the deep ball accurately (which is good for UMD this week) and he's prone to throwing picks. Couple that with the fact that back up running back Mikell Simpson will likely be starting since Cedric Peerman likely won't be able to go, and Maryland will be able to not have to worry about the run as much and be able to put in an additional defensive back to stop big passing plays.
This is a rivalry game, so I think it will be closer than I want it to be, but I think the Terps will still come out and win, hopefully by 3 scores.