Terps Control Their Own Destiny

Thanks to NC State defeating Florida State last Thursday, the Terps control their fate in the ACC.

When Florida State fell last Thursday at North Carolina State, it sent a tremor up to College Park, making it clear to the Terps that they control their own destiny in the ACC Atlantic Division.

Two days later, the Terps dismantled Wake Forest to improve to 3-1 in conference play, setting up what should be a month-long battle for supremacy atop the division.

“If we want to go to the ACC Championship Game, we have to win in November,” said senior linebacker Alex Wujciak.

The Terps begin their stretch run this Saturday when they head to Miami to take on the 5-3 Hurricanes, who are coming off a loss at Virginia.

Even if the Terps split their next two games, at Miami and then at Virginia, they can win the division by winning their last two contests, at home against ranked Florida State and North Carolina State.

Maryland trails 4-1 Florida State by a half game in the division and is tied for second with NC State. However, head-to-head victories over the two teams would give the Terps tiebreakers necessary to win the division, setting up a date in Charlotte for the title game.

This scenario assumes that Florida State and NC State win the rest of their conference games, which is fairly difficult to imagine in the parity-filled ACC.

In the next two weeks, before they visit College Park, Florida State plays host to North Carolina and Clemson, two dangerous yet inconsistent teams who could give the Seminoles trouble.

The Wolfpack travels to Clemson this Saturday, hosts Wake Forest next weekend, then heads to Chapel Hill to take on rival North Carolina, one week before the season finale at Maryland.

Despite their position near the top of the standings, the Terps themselves aren’t thinking about all the projections and possible scenarios, only about winning in Coral Gables on Saturday.

“Where we are right now doesn't really matter because we still have a lot of games to play, so we need to keep coming to play to stay on top," said junior wide receiver Torrey Smith.

Smith recognized how evenly matched teams are in the conference, and that the team needed to focus on winning their games. "In the ACC, week in and week out anybody can beat anyone,” Smith said. “We need to come to play every week.”

Junior safety Kenny Tate agreed with Smith that the team can’t do anything but go out and win. “We know that on any given day anybody can beat anybody,” said Tate. “The ACC is a tough conference and right now we are in contention. So we need to keep going out and playing well every week to stay contenders."

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