Site Predictions

Our weekly staff and moderator predictions for Saturday's contest.

Tim O'Malley (Managing Editor)

I think we're looking at the third biggest blowout of the season (Air Force and Navy), with the Irish defense giving a requisite seven early, then putting the hammer down for the better part of three quarters.

Maryland shouldn't slow Notre Dame's running game – one that will open up the airways for Tommy Rees' best day since before the Irish defeat to USC. We're three Saturdays away from a game that could have national implications…until then, the Irish need to put together seven or eight quarters of mistake-free, crisp football.
Notre Dame 38 Maryland 17 (Game preview column forthcoming)

Brian Dohn (Recruiting Analyst)

This one I a no-brained. Notre Dame has confidence, a versatile offense, markedly more talent and a better defense. Maryland is counting down for the senior banquet.
Irish 42 Maryland 20

Dave Berk (Recruiting Analyst)

The Irish head to FedEx Field for an away home game against Maryland. With three games left in the regular season, Brian Kelly's team cannot afford any let down against a Maryland team that is struggling under new head coach Randy Edsall.

Edsall is not making any fans at his new home and his defense enters this contest as one of the worst in all of college football. Not only are the Terps bad on the defensive side, they also have proven terrible on offense and special teams.

The Terps have lost seven of their last eight games and will be a prime target for the Irish to ramp up their offense. Edsall knows a lot about Kelly's offense as the two battled during their time in the Big East. Look for the Irish to run the football and hit some big pass plays as they cruise to a 34-10 win.

Christian Zavisca (Staff Writer)

Here comes Maryland, with its crazy uniforms. Prepare for a mild Under Armour-induced headache if you're catching this one on NBC (it's being played in D.C. but is technically an Irish home game). Notre Dame will be sporting its own unique uniforms as well.

Maryland and Boston College have long been viewed as in-the-bag victories. While keeping in mind that Wake Forest was, at one time, as well, the Irish are facing a 2-7 team that has lost five in a row. Coach Randy Edsall can fondly recall his road win with UConn a couple of years back against Charlie Weis' Notre Dame squad, but that's about all he has going for him.

It would take a major stumble for the Irish to stub their toe in this one, even though they are more banged up than one would like.
Notre Dame 31 Maryland 20

SeattleNDFan (Moderator)

2-7 Maryland has had some high points this season, but they were all before October, especially in their season opening win against Miami, FL. They had a spirited battle with Clemson which they eventually lost, and their low point was a defeat to lowly Boston College. They have a mini-QB controversy going between passer Danny O'Brien, who looked great against Miami and terrible since, and the more mobile C.J. Brown, who did some work against Clemson.

Despite former UConn head coach Randy Edsall's history there with his Stanford-esque power running pro style offense, Maryland under former Oregon (and Chicago Bears) Offensive Coordinator Gary Crowton is running a spread option instead. With Brown under center they have a legitimate read option running tandem with Davin Meggett, son of Dave Meggett, who averages 5 yards a carry, so combined with ND's defensive injury woes, do not expect ND to shut down the Terrapin attack entirely.

On the other side of the ball, however, Maryland is among the worst teams in the FBS at stopping the run, so a wise game plan for the Irish might involve heavy doses of Jonas Gray and Cierre Wood with some play action over the top as a cherry on the sundae. This will eat up the clock as well and keep the depleted defense off the field.

As a whole, Maryland should be able to move the ball between the 20's, but Bob Diaco's defense is designed to stiffen in the red zone and not allow the big play over the top, and Notre Dame's improved running game should force Maryland to sell out to stop the run, allowing Michael Floyd and Tyler Eifert plenty of room to maneuver.
Notre Dame 49 Maryland 14

BNolan (Moderator)

I'll not belabor Seattle's extensive and eloquent analysis of the Terp's characteristics and the game's potential dynamics. Maryland isn't good. But they aren't terrible. Potential to play good ball, but plenty of discouraging performances. Sound familiar?

ND has managed to lose to teams that aren't so good...

Anyway, ND can and should and I dare say, will win. Even with the bass boat/dune buggy paint job themed helmets. This team still has a lot of shortcomings, but should have what it takes to gain a victory tomorrow.

With the almost certain turnovers (ugh...) I can't predict a win with the same margin as Seattle (no problem if I'm wrong). The injuries certainly don't help either. Which team will run onto the field? Regardless... ND 31 Terps 17

KurzND (Moderator)

The Irish are heading into Maryland with a bit of a limp. Losing two seniors for the season in Cave and Filer, Riddick will not be participating, and Lynch and Te'o are hobbling a bit. Thankfully Stanford is a ways away and while the Irish cannot afford to overlook any other team I am sure Kelly and crew are glad to be facing Maryland. Maryland has looked terrible in some games this year with blow out losses to Virginia, Temple, and Florida State. They look the part mostly with a 2-7 record.

The Terp's don't match up well on D vs. the Irish with just too many weapons despite Riddick out. ND should just pound away with Gray and Wood and maybe and that will open up Eifert and Floyd in the passing game. On D, the Irish will be focusing on stopping Davin Meggett and forcing Maryland to play catch up all night.

Look for the Irish to hit 40 points and a little revenge from Edsall's victory over ND while at UConn. Notre Dame 42 Maryland 17

Morrissey79 (Moderator)

Honestly, I can't predict how this team will play anymore. Maryland is severely over matched in this game, and has spiraled out of control since its first couple games.

Randy Edsall is having trouble, and the fans have not been happy. Some guys haven't been as enamored with his new style and there are questions if everyone has bought in.

They have two QBs, neither of whom is very good, and ND (while depleted along the defense) has the guys to handle them easily. ND 35 Maryland 13


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