GAME PREVIEW: MD vs. CLEMSON

Maryland will look to rebound from its 34-10 loss to Wake Forest, despite losing more key starters with injuries as Clemson tries to bounce back from a 51-14 home loss to FSU.

Clemson (6-1, 4-1 ACC) at Maryland (5-1, 1-2 ACC)


Time: 3:30 p.m. at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, College Park, Md.
TV/Radio: ESPN, 105.7 FM
Series: Clemson leads 33-26-2 a
Series Note: Clemson and MD played first ACC game against each other on Oct. 3, 1953
Coaches: Maryland —Randy Edsall (3rd Season 11-20) Clemson—Mike London (5th Season 46-22)


STORYLINE CENTRAL

  • Terps and Tigers Looking to Rebound — No. 9 Clemson comes into College Park on Saturday hoping to forget its 51-14 loss at home against Florida State last week. If anything can help the Tigers ease the pain of their lopsided loss to the ‘Noles, it is Maryland. The Terps suffered a lopsided loss of their own against FSU, a 63-0 blowout at Doak Campbell. Clemson and Maryland actually have several things in common: they were both ranked and undefeated heading into their game against Florida State, they both allowed FSU to score more than 50 points, they uh….yeah, that is pretty much were the similarities end.

  • Speed Bump— There was plenty of buzz about offensive coordinator Chad Morris' offense heading into the season, but the Tigers' high-powered attack has not been quite as explosive as expected. Clemson has combined for just 38 points in its last two games, including just two touchdowns in a loss to FSU last week. Still, the Tigers put up a combined 101 points in their last two games against the Terps. Expect Morris to roll out the full gamete on Saturday after two down weeks.

  • Watkins Watch— Clemson junior wide receiver Sammy Watkins should be familiar to Maryland fans, he set the Clemson single game all-purpose running mark in Clemson's 56-45 win in 2011, when he had 345 all-purpose yards. He had eight receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns, and oh yeah, five kick off returns for 207 yards, including an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. This season he has 44 catches for 650 yards and five touchdowns.

  • Tigers on the Prowl— Clemson's defense will be playing with a chip on their shoulder this week after giving up 51 points at home last week to FSU. Despite the blowout, the Tigers' defense still ranks 26 in the nation, giving up 21 points per game. Clemson's pass rush has been extremely effective this season, and they are tied for first in the FBS with 27 sacks.

  • Boyd loves Byrd — Fifth-year senior quarterback Tahj Boyd completed 17-of-37 passes for just 156 yards, and just one touchdown. To make matters worse, Boyd was sacked four times and threw two interceptions. Boyd will look to bounce back against a team he is used to scoring on. Last season, Clemson rolled to a 45-10 win over the Terps in Death Valley, and Boyd passed for 261 yards and three touchdowns. In the 2011 shootout between Clemson and Maryland, the Tigers quarterback threw for 270 yards and four touchdowns to secure the 56-45 win for the visitors.
  • Down and Out—The hits just keep on coming for the Maryland football team. The Terps will be without an additional five starters with No. 9 Clemson coming into town on Saturday. Quarterback C.J. Brown was officially ruled out of Saturday's game after suffering a trunk injury in the Maryland's 34-10 loss to Wake Forest. Maryland will also be without: starting running back Brandon Ross (shoulder), starting tight end Dave Stinebaugh (knee), starting inside linebacker L.A. Goree (back) and starting safety Anthony Nixon (toe) for Saturday's game. Oh yeah, and in case you forgot, there is no Stefon Diggs or Deon Long either.

  • On The Bright (-ish) Side—Linebackers Alex Twine (labrum) and Matt Robinson (rotator cuff) are both listed as probable this week, after sitting out against Wake Forest. Probable doesn't mean 100 percent, but getting back Twine and Robinson would give the Terps significantly depleted linebacking corps a much needed boot-especially given that inside linebacker L.A. Goree will be out this week.


  • Whose In?

    **QB**
    With Brown out, Caleb Rowe will assume the starting role for the second time this season. In his first start this year against Virginia, Rowe threw for a career-high 332 yards, the most passing yards by a Maryland quarterback his season. He stepped in for an injured C.J. Brown against Wake Forest and completed 15 of 27 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown. Against Florida State, Rowe stepped in after Brown suffered a concussion, and completed 9-of-17 passes for 119 yards.

    **WR**
    Without Deon Long and Stefon Diggs, red-shirt freshman Amba Etta-Tawo and sophomore Levern Jacobs will be expected to be the "next men up". Jacobs has 13 catches for 245 yards this season. He caught his first career touchdown on Saturday against Wake on a 56-yard pass from Caleb Rowe…the Terps will need more where that came from against Clemson. Etta-Tawo had a stellar spring, but he his production has been limited to just eight catches for 87 yards so far this season.

    **RB**
    Sophomore Albert Reid and freshman standout Jacquille Veii will have to shoulder the load of the ground game with Ross out on Saturday. Reid has played in all seven games and has 37 carries for 193 yards this season. Freshman Jacquille Veii has taken advantage of his limited time on the field this season. He had eight carries for 53 yards in the season-opener against FIU, and 10 carries for 43 yards against ODU. His numbers have not been quite as impressive in the past four games, but he could play a key role on Saturday.

    **TE**
    Caleb Rowe threw a game-changing touchdown to tight end Dave Stinebaugh against UVa. The sophomore quarterback will not have that luxury on Saturday, as Stinebaugh will be out with a knee injury. Back ups P.J. Gallo and freshman standout Andrew Isaacs will have to step up in Stinebaugh's absence. Neither have recorded any stats this year.



Keep an Eye On...

Number 3—Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, has been an absolute beast this season. He is second in the country with nine sacks, and the Tigers lead the nation with 27 quarterback takedowns this season.
Terps win if…

Bash Boyd —FSU brought Clemson quarterback Tahj Boyd down four times and forced two interceptions. If Maryland's pass rush can penetrate the Tigers' weakest point, its offensive line, and get to Boyd it would alleviate some of the pressure on Maryland's secondary. Of course, the plan could also backfire and open up room for Boyd to pick apart the Terps injury-riddled defense.
Clemson wins if…

They Take Advantage of the Young Terps— Maryland's laundry list of injuries has thrust a number of young players into the spot light. Not to mention, neither Maryland's offense or defense has been particularly steady as of late. Boyd is a fifth-year senior, he will know how to take advantage of a young defense. Clemson's pass rush could be too much for the Terps less than stellar O-line to handle, and with Rowe's limited abaility to scramble it could be a long day for the home team.

Prediction

CLEMSON-48 MARYLAND- 6

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