This week's "Three And Out" is provided by Matt Bracken of The Baltimore Sun. Matt was kind enough to take the time to answer my questions although he has been knee deep covering Maryland football and basketball recruiting news. Thanks again to Matt for his answers regarding Maryland football.
1. Who do you think Maryland starts this Saturday at QB? Steffy or Turner?
Barring extremely unforeseen, downright shocking circumstances, Chris Turner will get the start against FSU. Turner was spectacular against Boston College, going 21-for-27 for 337 yards and three touchdowns. It took Steffy a few weeks to get medically cleared to play after suffering a concussion during the Rutgers game. By the time he was cleared, Turner had strung together a number of strong performances - starting with the Rutgers game in relief of Steffy and culminating with the BC game. The knock on Turner before the season was that he was reportedly shaky in practices, but excellent in scrimmage and game situations. I'm not sure how he's progressed in practices since taking over, but for a kid who was third string (behind Steffy and Florida transfer Josh Portis) coming into the fall, Turner has really excelled since getting an opportunity.
2. The overwhelming majority of TDs for the Terps this season have been on the ground. How do you think the running game will do against the Seminole defense?
If the BC game is any indication, then the Terps won't be afraid to mix things up and stray from the running game if necessary. It's probably Maryland's preference to be a run-first offense, but Ralph Friedgen showed that he's more than willing to throw the ball if the situation presents itself. I'm pretty certain that FSU's defense will oblige and force the Terps to throw. Maryland's leading rusher, Keon Lattimore, was out with a hamstring injury against the Eagles, but Lance Ball (who was right behind Lattimore in yardage), turned in a solid performance in Lattimore's absence. The x-factor for Maryland is third-string running back Da'Rel Scott,who took a screen pass from Turner 57 yards for a score against BC.Scott's been slowed by some nagging injuries, but he's probably Maryland's most explosive player. Ball will grind out some tough yardage against the Seminoles' defense, but I think Friedgen will put the game in Turner's hands and try to get the ball to his playmakers, most notably wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and to a lesser extent, Scott.
3. The Terps are coming off a big win against BC. How do you see the game going in Tallahassee?
This will be a tough one for the Terps, and they know it. Friedgen made mention at his press conference Tuesday that Maryland has yet to taste victory in Tallahassee since FSU joined the ACC. The players who met with the media also had nothing but praise for the Seminoles' defense. The overall message seemed to be, 'yeah, Florida State isn't a national title contender right now, but it still has an absurd collection of speed and talent and can beat any team on any given day.' Maryland has a lot at stake. One win gets them bowl eligible (six wins), but two guarantees them a bowl game. Taking into account the mind-boggling number of injuries they've suffered this year, a bowl game would be a major accomplishment. If I had to make a pick, it would be for Florida State, but a Terps win wouldn't shock
me. I expect a close game either way.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Posted by tallynolefan at 7:03 PM