NC State (3-2) vs. Maryland (3-2)
Saturday, October 16, 2004
3:30 pm Byrd Stadium (51,500)
College Park, MD
Andre Maddox, ROV - hamstring strain
T.A. McLendon, RB - hamstring strain, AC seperation
Sterling Hicks, WR - heel injury
Luke Lathan, C - knee sprain
Merci Falaise, OL - knee sprain
Jed Paulsen, C - ankle injury
Maryland Scouting Report
|Sammy Maldonado is Maryland's leading rusher|
29 Sammy Maldonado, RB – Bruising tailback leads Maryland in rushing. A transfer from Ohio State, Maldonado has been a difference maker for the Terps, and meshes well with Josh Allen at the tailback position.
33 Josh Allen, RB – Maryland's other terrific tailback, Allen garnered All-ACC honors last season. He's healthy and gives Maryland more speed at the position than Maldonado.
16 Joel Statham, QB – First-year starter has had mixed results thus far. Put up huge numbers against Duke, but struggled against West Virginia and Georgia Tech. May be looking over his shoulder at freshman Jordan Steffy, who's also going to get reps against the Wolfpack.
52 D'qwell Jackson, LB – Maryland's best player... period. Jackson is a playmaker at his middle linebacker position, and is very disruptive. The Terps use him well in their scheme and he has a lot of freedom to make plays all over the field.
45 Shawne Merriman, DE – Converted linebacker is tied for the ACC lead in sacks (5). Fierce pass rusher off the edge and is solid against the run.
6 Dominique Foxworth, CB – Maryland's best corner, Foxworth has made big plays throughout his career. Look for Davis to try and stay away from his side of the field.
Nick Novak, K - Two-time All-ACC kicker, Novak beat NC State last year with a field goal in the final minute. One of the nation's best kickers.
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NC State News and Notes
NC STATE VS. MARYLAND
The series with Maryland dates back to 1909, with the two teams meeting every year since 1956. The Wolfpack enters this year's game at College Park with the overall series in a dead heat, at 28-28-4.
The Wolfpack has lost the last four meetings. Prior to the 2000 loss, NC State had won four straight and eight of nine from 1991 until 1999.
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR FOR PACK VS. TERPS
NC State's record-setting quarterback Philip Rivers experienced a little bit of everything during his four years and Division I-record 51 games as a starter. One thing he did not experience was a victory over the University of Maryland.
Rivers is now playing on Sundays for the San Diego Chargers, while his former team still tries to gain a victory against its ACC rival. Maryland is the only league team that Chuck Amato has not defeated at least once since coming to State in 2000.
The last four contests between NC State and Maryland have all gone down to the wire, with Maryland winning by 4, 3 and two points. In 2000, the teams went into double-overtime in College Park before State fell, 28- 35. In 2001, the Terrapins scored with under a minute remaining to win 23-19 and in 2002, Maryland kicked a field goal with 34 seconds remaining to take their first and final lead: 24-21. Last season, after missing an extra point to tie the game for Maryland, the Terrapin placekicker booted a 43-yard field goal with just 23 seconds remaining to give his squad a 26-24 victory.
MARYLAND OUTRUSHES NC STATE
In each of its last three wins over the Wolfpack, the Terrapins have outgained State on the ground. Maryland has outgained the Pack 495-245 in the last three matchups, for an average of 83.4 yards per game.
Last season, the Pack could muster just 98 rushing yards while the Terps tallied 190. In 2002, Maryland outrushed State 202-109 and in 2001, although they gained just 103 ground yards, the Terps held the Pack to just 38 yards rushing.
PACK STARTS STRONG, FINISHES SLOW VS. TERPS
In each of its last four losses to Maryland, NC State has gone into the lockerroom with a halftime lead. State led 21-6 in 2000, 9-3 in 2001, 14-7 in 2002 and 14-10 last season.
NC State has lost just five games during Chuck Amato's tenure when leading at the half and four of those losses have been against Maryland.
Here's a look at the first and second half scoring by the two squads in the last four outings (NC State is listed first): 2000 2001 2002 2003 1st 21-6 9-3 14-7 14-10 2nd 0-15 10-20 7-17 10-16 OT 7-14 NA NA NA Final 28-35 19-23 21-24 24-26
NATION'S TOP PASS DEFENDERS
NC State's defense was much-criticized last season, as the Wolfpack finished the season ranked 116th nationally in pass defense, allowing over 284 yards per game. In the total defense column, State ranked 89th nationally, giving up 421 yards per game.
This season, however, new coordinator Reggie Herring has his unit sitting near the top of the national standings in total defense and pass defense, as the Pack is allowing just 226.2 total yards (the third-best mark in the nation) and 112.2 aerial yards per game to lead the nation.
The Wolfpack has held four of its five opponents under 300 yards of total offense this season, and held the first three under 200 yards. Those three tallies under 200 yards marked the first time since 1965 that NC State has allowed such low totals in three consecutive contests.
RUNNING BACK BY COMMITTEE
You would think that a team with the league's leading rusher wouldn't have too many carries left for anybody else. However, against North Carolina, three Wolfpack runners rushed for over 70 yards and six carried the ball four or more times. The game marked the first since 1992 (vs. Maryland) that NC State finished a game with over 300 yards rushing.
In addition to T.A. McLendon's ninth career 100-yard rushing game (117 yards), sophomore Reggie Davis bulldozed his way to 72 yards on 11 carries. Freshmen tailbacks Darrell Blackman rushed five times for 15 yards, while Bobby Washington had four tries for a dozen yards and a TD and also ran in a two-point conversion.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN THE TERRAPINS HAVE THE BALL
Maryland's offense has been inconsistent this season, and they will need to bring their 'A' game against the Wolfpack, one of the nation's top defensive units.
Look for the Terps to try and establish the ground game early behind Allen and Maldonado. Doing so will take early pressure off the quarterback situation and they'll probably run on early downs to prevent third and long.
When they do go to the air, a name to remember is Vernon Davis. The tight end/halfback is perhaps their most explosive player, as evidenced by his three touchdown receptions against Duke earlier in the season. He's an emerging star in the ACC and will be a tough matchup for NC State's linebackers.
Maryland's going to try and get in position to let Novak do a lot of work. He's been a pain in the side of NC State in previous seasons, and is a weapon for the Terps.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN THE WOLFPACK HAS THE BALL
As with each game this season, NC State's going to start out by working T.A. McLendon on the ground. The ACC's leading rusher, McLendon is a little banged up but should play against the Terps. McLendon, Reggie Davis, Bobby Washington, and Darrell Blackman give NC State as strong a group of running backs that you'll find.
Jay Davis must stay hot. He's been on fire the past two weeks and the offense is beginning to click. With the weapons around him, look for Davis to put up solid numbers against Maryland.
VALUE THE FOOTBALL. It's time for NC State to win a turnover battle. The offense must take care of the ball, and the defense has to start forcing turnovers. It could be a deciding factor in the game on Saturday.
NC State's John Deraney vs. Maryland's Nick Novak and Adam Podlesh: Wolfpack Head Coach Chuck Amato always stresses the kicking game and it could be VERY important this week. Maryland has arguably the conference's top duo in Novak and Podlesh. Deraney must be strong in the kicking game for the Wolfpack against Maryland, because you know Novak and Podlesh will likely be on top of theirs.
NC State could use a punt block in this game... it seems like it's been a while since they've had one.
#34 Steve Suter
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Thanks to NC State and Maryland Athletics for much of the information in this preview.