The final breakdown

CLEMSON - As the team boards the plane headed to College Park, Md. CUTigers presents the final breakdown for Saturday's game.

QUARTERBACK: Maryland's offense is guided by senior quarterback Chris Turner, who averages 242.8 passing yards per game—fourth best in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He's also completing 60 percent of his passes through four games this year.

Turner is in his third year as the Terrapin starter and ranks high in several Maryland career passing categories. He's fourth all-time in career completion percentage list, third in passing yards, fourth in total offense, third in completions, third in pass attempts and tied four sixth in touchdown passes.

Against Rutgers last week, he had four interceptions and a fumble in his own end zone—the worst performance of his collegiate career.

Maryland gets the edge at quarterback due to Chris Turner's extensive experience in the ACC. (Getty Images)
Clemson starting quarterback Kyle Parker is far less experienced than Turner. Parker has thrown for 715 yards and five touchdowns in his four career starts and struggled to throw in the rain last week against Texas Christian, missing several receivers, including a go ahead touchdown pass to Dwayne Allen.

Turner is an established ACC quarterback who leads several former and current NFL signal callers on Maryland's all-time records list.


RUNNING BACK: The Terrapin running backs are led by junior Doak Walker Award nominee Da'Rel Scott, an All-ACC performer last year. His 74 rushing yards per game are fourth best in the conference this year. With a career average of 5.69 yards per carry, he's just 435 yards from becoming the 10th back in school history to rush for 2,000 yards.

Davin Meggett ran for 457 as a true freshman last year. This year, he's rushed for 107 yards and has nine catches for 70 yards.

Heisman Trophy candidate C.J. Spiller has been limited through half of this year's games with a toe injury but has still rushed for 308 yards. Last week, he had a career-high 26 carries and the first rushing touchdown for the Tigers this year. He's also second on the team in catches with eight for 150 yards.

Andre Ellington averages a team-high 6.6 yards per carry. Jamie Harper's 110 rushing yards are second best. He's also second on the team with 34 touches.

Scott and Spiller are among the best of the best in the ACC when it comes to running backs. Each team has an NFL-caliber running back featured on their respective offenses along with solid compliments when they need spelling. Meggett is the only one of the backups with a year of solid production under his belt.


WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS: Red-shirt sophomore Torrey Smith is Maryland's most explosive playmaker. Clemson fans might remember him from last year's 20-17 loss. He returned four kicks for 92 yards and one catch—the go ahead touchdown.

The Terps also get the edge at receiver but Clemson's Jacoby Ford has to have a big game to keep the Maryland defense honest. (Getty Images)
Smith has posted 100 receiving yards in each of the last two games. His 21.4 yards per catch is fourth in the nation among wide receivers with at least 15 receptions. Smith has 385 receiving yards this year—more than last year's total—18 receptions and two touchdowns. He's also carried five times for 51 yards.

Aside from the numbers, Smith is a quality route runner and a willing blocker.

Junior Adrian Cannon has emerged as a compliment to Smith with 15 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Ronnie Tyler has also chipped in with nine catches for 120 yards. Both began to establish themselves last year.

Senior Tommy Galt has been the Terrapin's most active tight end this year with seven catches for 61 yards and Lansford Watson has five for 45.

Jacoby Ford leads the Tigers this year in all major receiving categories with 20 catches, 270 yards and two touchdowns. He's made six receptions of over 20 yards this year. That's more catches than any other Clemson wide receiver. Jaron Brown is slated to start again this week and is expected to have chances to make an impact. Marquan Jones didn't have any catches against Texas Christian but has four this year—all have gone for over 20 yards for an average of 33.5 yards.

Michael Palmer is the team's third leading receiver with seven catches for 58 yards. Rendrick Taylor has hauled in four for 23. Allen recorded his second career catch last week.

Although Clemson has more productive and experienced tight ends, the Tigers are still in search of a consistent complimentary target at wide receiver. Maryland has found at least one compliment for Smith in Cannon.


OFFENSIVE LINE: The Terrapins lost five of the top seven offensive linemen and a total of 115 starts after the end of last year. Heading into 2009, the Terrapin offensive line had only 26 career starts. Senior center Phil Costa had started 22 games and junior left tackle Bruce Campbell had eight. Campbell has missed two games this year because of a foot injury and is expected to play on Saturday.

Maryland ranks 92nd in country in rushing offense with 112 yards per game but has given up 14 sacks.

All five of the scheduled Clemson starters had starting experience before this year. Landon Walker and Cory Lambert gave up zero sacks to Texas Christian All-American Jerry Hughes last week. Chris Hairston probably will be out for the second straight week unless needed otherwise. The Tigers are rushing for almost 149 yards per game, 58th best in the country. Clemson quarterbacks have been sacked eight times.


DEFENSIVE LINE: Senior defensive end Jared Harrell and senior defensive tackle Travis Ivey are the two most experienced members of Maryland's defensive front. Of the 10 listed on the depth chart, six are freshman. Both Ivey and nose tackle A.J. Francis have registered sacks this year and both check in at over 315 pounds. Senior defensive end Deege Galt is second on the team with 1.5 sacks.

Ricky Sapp's ability to get pressure on Chris Turner will be critical once again Saturday afternoon in Byrd Stadium. (Roy Philpott)
Maryland's defense gives up 202 yards rushing a game this year (110th in the country).

Clemson's four starters have all played over 135 snaps this season. Defensive end Da'Quan Bowers leads the starting front four with 21 tackles. Ricky Sapp has a team-high six tackles for loss. Defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins 18 tackles and Brandon Thompson has 16.

There's plenty of depth behind those four too.

In 79 snaps, defensive end Andre Branch has 14 tackles. In 76 snaps, defensive end Malliciah Goodman has three tackles for loss and a sack. Jamie Cumbie, Miguel Chavis and Rennie Moore are all regulars in the rotation

Clemson's defense gives up 146 rushing yards a game (74th in the country).


LINEBACKERS: Maryland's defense is anchored by junior linebackers Alex Wujciak (MIKE) and Adrian Moten (SAM).

Wujciak, a second-team All-ACC selection last year, averages 11.25 tackles per game, tops in the ACC and 11th in the nation. Moten is in his first year as a full-time starter but has played in all but three games during his career. He's second on the team with 34 tackles, first with 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. WILL linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield enrolled early in 2008 before red-shirting. He's third on the team with 25 tackles.

Clemson's linebacking corps is led by Freshman All-America Brandon Maye, who is second on the team with 31 tackles from 242 snaps at the MIKE position. Although Moten is in on a lot of tackles, he's usually not the first to the ball, evident by his 30 assists. Maye is about 25 pounds lighter and has better range.

Kavell Conner is fifth on the team with 26 tackles but has played just 122 snaps.

Two of Kevin Alexander's six tackles are for loss. Now, he's only listed at the SAM linebacker position but can play defensive end too.


DEFENSIVE BACKS: Sophomore Cameron Chism has the team's only two interceptions. He moved into the starting role when senior Nolan Carroll, Maryland's best cornerback, who was lost for the year during the James Madison game. Senior corner Anthony Wiseman started all 13 games last year, registering 10 pass break ups. Through four games this year, he's got a team-high of five.

Senior strong safety Jamari McCollough has missed two games with a foot injury and had limited playing time against Rutgers. His four career interceptions are highest on the team. Senior free safety Terrell Skinner started all 11 games he played in last year. Sophomore strong safety Kenny Tate came to school as a wide receiver before being moved to defense. He played in all 13 games last year.

Maryland's pass efficiency defense is 144.7 (103rd in the country).

Minus Carroll, the Clemson starting corners are far more experienced. Crezdon Butler and Chris Chancellor are both on the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List. Butler has 10 career interceptions and Chancellor has nine. Chancellor leads the team with three pass break ups and has the longest interception return this year (37 yards).

Safety Rashard Hall has emerged as this season as one of the biggest contributors on defense and is third on the team with 28 tackles. DeAndre McDaniel leads the team with 34 tackles. His four interceptions leads the team and is second in the country. Versatile free safety Marcus Gilchrist has played the most snaps (247).

Clemson's pass efficiency defense is ninth in the country (90.3).

The stats don't lie.


SPECIAL TEAMS: A preseason All-America kick returner and a consensus All-ACC selection, Smith is second in the country in all-purpose yards per game.

Junior punter Travis Balz, a preseason consensus All-ACC pick and Ray Guy Award watch list member, is likely out for the next two weeks due to a sprained ankle. Place kicker Nick Ferrara could replace him. Ferrara is six of eight in field goals with a long of 42.

Spiller has averages nearly 10 yards more per kick return than Smith. Plus, Spiller is a threat to return punts. Thrown in Ford and Clemson has one of the most potent return duos in the nation. The team is fourth in the nation for punt returns and 20th for kickoff returns.

Richard Jackson has made 12 of 15 field goal attempts with a long of 54.


HALE'S PREDICTION: Clemson 27 Maryland 7 Top Stories