GT - Maryland Game Preview

A 2-2 Maryland club comes into Bobby Dodd Stadium this Saturday at noon to go against a perfect Georgia Tech team. Randy Edsall will look to make a splash in his first road game as the Terps head coach. Bowl Eligibility and the Jackets' perfect road are on the line in an always crucial ACC matchup.

Ralph Friedgen may be flying a Georgia Tech flag these days but Randy Edsall is concerned about stopping this Georgia Tech offense on Saturday. The Terps, in their infamous and ostentatious garb, will attempt to defend the nation's top rush offense. Edsall's team sits at 2-2 on the year with wins over Miami and Towson and losses to West Virginia and Temple. The Terapins are a bit enigmatic as they've played well at times but haven't come out of the gate the way they wanted. This Saturday the Jackets put their perfect record on the line against a team that certainly has enough talent to pull the upset.

Danny O'Brien leads Maryland's offense as they've shown somewhat of a propensity for passing the ball. O'Brien has the arm strength to throw it down field but the Terps also run a lot of short screen passes. The Jackets actually set up fairly well for O'Brien's game as he is comparable to Mike Glennon at NC State who they just faced this past weekend. The Terps also have a capable run game led by Davin Meggett and Justus Pickett. Overall, the Maryland offense sits in the middle of the pack in the ACC. The Tech defense will look to continue to take steps forward before they get to some extremely dangerous speed in Miami, Clemson, and Virginia Tech.

Scoring will likely happen fast and Maryland will likely need to step up its game on Saturday if it hopes to leave Atlanta with a win because their defense sits near the bottom of the ACC. They are 11th in the ACC in rushing defense giving up 177 yards per game on the ground. The Terps rank dead last in the ACC in total defense giving up over 400 yards per game. That's not a good sign coming into a stadium where the Jackets are one of the top offenses in the nation. Matt Robinson is their leading tackler at the DB position. It's typically not a good indication when a DB is your leading tackler. Maryland will have to turn things around quickly if they hope to slow down this potent Jacket attack.

This is Randy Edsall's first year at Maryland. After their opening win against Miami it looked as if he was the answer Maryland was looking for to push them over the edge. However, he's already starting to feel a little heat as his team has looked lost at times. Edsall also has a history at GT as he was the defensive coordinator at Tech during the 1998 season.

Bowl eligibility could be achieved this Saturday with a Jackets victory. The Terps are 1-8 in games at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The last time Maryland came into Bobby Dodd Michael Johnson had to make two consecutive sacks in the red zone to stave off a late game rally. Paul Johnson and his team will try to make this Saturday's matchup not quite as close as they look to move to 6-0 and closer to their goal of winning the ACC's Coastal division.

Who: Maryland Terrapins (HC Randy Edsall) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (HC Paul Johnson)
When: Saturday October 8th, 2011 @ 12:00 pm (ABC/ESPN)
Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field in Atlanta, GA

NOTES

  • The Jackets will be bowl eligible with a win on Saturday.
  • The Jackets are ranked 13th in both polls. That's the highest since the end of the 2009 season.
  • The Jackets and The Clemson Tigers are both 5-0 for the first time since 1948. They remain the ACC's lone unbeaten teams.
  • The Jackets were overtaken in total offense (Houston) and scoring offense (Oregon), but remain 2nd in both categories.


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