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    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Head To Head Matchup: Running Backs

    Maryland's leading rusher on the season is 5-11/192 pound sophomore Da'Rel Scott. Scott in last Saturday's rain drenched win over North Carolina rushed for 129 yards and 1 TD. He carried the ball in the game twenty-nine times and averaged 4.4 yards a carry. Smith is close to having a 1,000 yard rushing season. For the year, he has 858 yards and 6 TDs. He also has rushed for over 100 yards in four different games this season.

    Scott is the ACC's second leading rusher averaging 95.33 yards a game and 5.05 yards a carry. He also gets almost 19 yards a carry per game. Scott has two of the top four single-game rushing performances in the ACC this season (197 vs. Delaware; 163 vs. NC State). His rushing total versus NC State is the second most in an ACC game this season.

    Scott is also on the watch list for the Doak Walker and Maxwell Awards and currently ranks 32nd in the nation (FBS) in rushing (95.3 ypg). He also leads the team and ranks fourth in the ACC and 65th nationally in all-purpose yards (112.0 ypg). He is tied for the team lead with six touchdowns. Scott has eight carries of at least 24 yards in 2008 (40, 37 and 26 vs. Delaware; 63 and 24 vs. MTSU;24 vs. Cal; 39 and 24 vs. NC State).

    Backing up Scott is 5-8/210 pound freshman Davin Meggett who has rushed for 365 yards and 4 TDs this season. In last Saturday's game against the Tar Heels, he rushed for 86 yards and 1 TD and averaged 6.6 yards a carry.

    In rushing offense, the Terrapins are ranked #5 in the ACC averaging almost 152 yards a game. Maryland has scored 14 TDs on the ground this season. Maryland ranks #5 in allowing tackles for a loss in the ACC. Maryland is doing a good job of converting third downs and has converted over 41% of their third downs for the season and rank #2 in the ACC.

    On the offensive line, Maryland has experience with four senior offensive linemen. Opening holes for the running game, the veteran offensive line is led by 6-3,315 pound senior center Edwin Williams, a member of the watch lists for the Rimington Trophy and Lombardi Award. Williams was named ACC lineman of the week for his performance against the Tar Heels.

    Defensive matchup: We can only hope that the Nole run defense shows up for the game against Maryland after allowing 176 yards rushing against Boston College. The Nole rushing defense is currently ranked #4 in the ACC allowing on average 110 yards a game and has given up 9 TDs on the ground. They are giving up 3.27 yards per rush attempt.

    FSU is ranked #1 in the ACC in tackles for a loss. Leading the ACC in that category is defensive end Everette Brown with 16. At #8 is linebacker Derek Nicholson.

    In scoring defense, the Noles are ranked #8 in the ACC allowing a little over 20 points a game. The Noles are ranked #1 in the ACC in third down conversion attempts by their opponents. For the season, the Noles have allowed opponent teams to convert only 22.73 % of their third down attempts.

    The Noles rank #3 in the ACC in recovering fumbles by their opponents. In turnover margin, the Noles are near the bottom of the ACC at #9. One of the keys to the game against Maryland could come down to a key fumble and recovery.

    For the Noles, it will be senior Antone Smith and freshman Jermaine Thomas. Against BC this past Saturday, neither Smith or Thomas were able to run against a tough defensive line. In Saturday's loss to BC, Smith had 10 carries for only 19 yards. Thomas had 3 carries for minus yardage. For the season, Smith has rushed for 651 yards and 13 TDs. He is averaging a little over 65 yards per game and almost 5 yards per carry.In the ACC, Smith is ranked #7.

    Backing up Smith is freshman standout Jermaine Thomas. Thomas for the year has rushed for 435 yards and 2 TDs. Thomas has rushed for over 100 yards once this year against Georgia Tech when he rushed for 130 yards. He however has not managed to score a TD since the first game of the season when he scored 2 against Western Carolina.

    Defensive matchup: Maryland's rush defense is ranked #9 in the ACC allowing almost 145 yards a game and 9 TDs on the ground. They are giving up almost 4 yards per rush attempt. The number of TDs allowed on the ground by the Maryland defense is third best in the ACC. In tackles for a loss, the Terps rank #8.

    Maryland's sophomore linebacker Alex Wujciak is the ACC's second leading tackler with 93 for the season and averages a little over 10 tackles a game. Senior linebacker Dave Philistin is ranked #10 in the ACC in tackles.

    The Terps are ranked #4 in the ACC in opponent third down conversions with a 35% conversion rate. In scoring defense, the Terrapins are allowing teams 19.2 points a game. The Eagles rank dead last in the ACC in recovering fumbles by their opponents. In turnover margin, the Terps rank #8 in the ACC.

    Quick stats: For the season, Maryland has scored 14 rushing TDs and average 4.4 yards a rush. The Noles have scored 22 rushing TDs and average 5.2 yards a rush.

    Apparently Maryland loves home cooking. At home, the Terps have scored 12 of their 14rushing TDs for the season. They also have had a more difficult time scoring rushing TDs against conference opponents having scored only 5 TDs out of their 14 for the year.

    For the Noles, they have scored 6 of their rushing TDS out of their 22 on the road. Against conference opponents, the Noles have scored 12 of their 22 rushing TDs.

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