GAME PREVIEW: MD vs. UVA

The Terps kick off their ACC home schedule with a battle a border battle against Virginia. TurtleSportsReport.com tells you what you need to know about the game, matchups, stats, and more, here.

Virginia (2-3) at Maryland (4-1)


Time: 3:30 p.m. at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, College Park, Md.
TV/Radio: ESPNU, 105.7 FM
Series: Maryland leads 43-32-2
Series Note: UVa has won three-consecutive games in Byrd Stadium
Coaches: Maryland —Randy Edsall (3rd Season 10-19) Virginia —Mike London (4rd Season 18-24)


STORYLINE CENTRAL

  • Quarterback Question —Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown is doubtful (concussion) for Saturday's game against Virginia, so what does that mean for the Terps?

    With Brown listed as doubtful, back up quarterback Caleb Rowe will need to be ready to step in against the Cavaliers on Saturday. Rowe was called in for duty against the Seminoles on Saturday, facing a third and long situation, Rowe completed a 19-yard pass to Deon Long to pick up the first down. The rest of the day did not go quite as smoothly for Rowe, and he finished 9 of 17 for 119 yards.

    While C.J. Brown is a true dual-threat quarterback, Rowe is much more of a pocket passer. If Rowe is under center on Saturday, the offense could roll out a few new looks to play to his strengths.

  • Rush Hour —Virginia is holding its opponents to less than 150 yards rushing per game, and the Terps' ground game hasn't been exactly stellar as of late. Maryland rushed for just 33 yards on 25 carries against Florida State, and Brandon Ross has only eclipsed the century mark once this season. Granted, Ross ran for 149 yard against Old Dominion, he has been relatively inconsistent. After the first game Ross said he was dancing a little bit too much, and he rebounded with a career-high against Old Dominion. On Wednedsay, when asked about his performance against FSU, Brandon Ross said, "I was doing too much dancing. As far as holes opening up, there were some lanes there I could have hit better, but I didn't see them right away. That's just something I need to do more preparation and study the opponent better." Can he rebound with another big day on Saturday?

  • Sophomore Slump?— Last season Stefon Diggs set a school record for freshman averaging 28.52 yards per return, the second-best single-season average in school history. Cavalier fans certainly remember his 100-yard kick-off return against UVa last year. This season, Diggs returned just two punts for a loss of a yard, and he just five kick off returns for a total of 105 yards. Freshman Will Likely is handling the return duties and averages 7.8 yards on punt returns and 28.6 yards on kick off. While there has not been much of a drop off, Diggs' absence from the return game left reporters scratching their heads.

    After the UConn game, Edsall said Diggs asked to be relieved of his return duties because of a jammed finger. Against both West Virginia and Florida State, Diggs took a few big hits and needed to be helped off the field and he was held under 50 yards in both outings. Edsall admitted Diggs was probably not at 100 percent right now, and the Terps sophomore may be a bit dinged up.

    Will Diggs return? (pun intended)

  • 'Hoos Missing —Virginia cornerback Demetrious Nicholson will miss the first game of his career on Saturday, with a "lower extremity" injury per a report released by UVa Thursday afternoon. The Cavaliers secondary will take a big hit without Nicholson who has 20 tackles and an interception this season. More importantly, Nicholson was the likely candidate to match up against Diggs. Now the job be left to sophomore Maurice Canady or freshman DreQuan Hoskey…an unfavorable matchup for Virginia but it could be exactly what Diggs needs to get his game back on track.


Keep an Eye On...

Number 45—Virginia has struggled against bigger backs this season, and at 5-foot-10, 210-pounds Terps running back Brandon Ross could give UVa more than they can handle on Saturday. Ross was disappointed with his performance last Saturday and will look to rebound this weekend.
Terps win if…

Find Balance —Last week against Florida State, Maryland rushed for just 33 yards. Without a running game, it is hard for the passing game to open up. Regardless of Brown's status of Saturday, the Terps must be able to pick up yards on the ground in order to get the ball in the hands of their talented receiving corps.
Virginia wins if…

They don't beat themselves—UVa had 13 penalties against Ball State, and the Cavaliers average seven flags a game. To make matters worse, they have also turned the ball over 14 times this season. If UVa, can avoid beating themselves they will look like a much better team.

Prediction

Maryland- 42 UVA- 13

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