Maryland (6-5) at NC State (3-8) Nov. 30, 12:30, ESPN3
Why You Should Give A Hoot: With Maryland off to the Big Ten in 2014, the rivalry with NC State, which first began more than a century ago, will go on hiatus after this weekend. The Terrapins lost a heartbreaker to Boston College last weekend, 29-26, but six wins have ensured a spot in the postseason for the first time during the Randy Edsall era. Edsall got off to a slow start in College Park, much the way Dave Doeren has in Raleigh. The Wolfpack losing streak reached seven games with last week's 42-28 collapse at the feet of East Carolina, which was worse than the score indicated. Though very early in the process, the upcoming offseason shapes up as a key one for Doeren and his assistants.
Why Maryland Might Win: Not much has gone right for NC State in 2013, so the Terps should have success on both sides of the ball. Maryland has been a more competent team since QB C.J. Brown reentered the fold following an injury. Unlike the Pack, he brings guts, leadership and scrambling ability to the spot behind center. State's troubles at quarterback will be exacerbated by a Terp pass defense that's played much better over the last month.
Why NC State Might Win: The Pack believes its best chance for gaining an edge will occur at the line of scrimmage when Maryland the ball. The Terps are vulnerable up front, and have missed injured LT Mike Madaras. NC State will counter with an active D-line that's led by DE Art Norman, NT Thomas Teal and DT Monty Nelson, a budding true freshman. This unit is capable of disrupting a one-dimensional Maryland offense that's produced more than one touchdown pass in just one of the last nine games.
Who To Watch Out For: The Maryland O-line is shaky, but NC State's is no better. The Pack must deal with DE Andre Monroe and OLB Marcus Whitfield, who've combined for 14.5 sacks.
- The Pack continues to have uncertainty at quarterback. Brandon Mitchell and Pete Thomas are listed as co-starters, but considering the results—nine touchdowns and 15 picks—does it really matter who gets the ball.
- The Terps believe that CB Will Likely is a future star of the Big Ten. Though undersized, he's very aggressive and evolving as he earns more reps throughout his debut season.
What Will Happen: While both schools are flawed, Maryland has shown signs of life during the month of November. Even without injured receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, the Terps have more offensive pop because of the presence of Brown. There's not much left in the tank of the Pack, which will carry an eight-game losing streak into the offseason.
Prediction: Maryland 28 … NC State 20
CFN's Take: NC State vs. Maryland
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