1.) How bad is the injury situation for Maryland's offensive line?
Already dealing with season-ending injuries to starting tackles Justin Gilbert and Pete DeSouza, starting right guard Justin Lewis and starting center Bennett Fulper both went down with injuries early in Saturday's loss to Florida State. And as if that wasn't bad enough, true freshman tackle Max Garcia, who entered the game after Fulper and Lewis got hurt, left with an injury as well.
Garcia had taken over at left tackle after R.J Dill had moved to the right side and Pinegar had moved inside to center. Fulper (hand) returned in the second half, but Lewis (knee) will likely miss the regular-season finale against North Carolina State.
Pretty bad. They had to burn Garcia's red shirt in the FSU game. Lewis will miss tomorrow's game, but Fulper and Garcia will be available. It's likely that the line will feature at least one first-time starter in either Garcia or Pete White. Even so, the OL probably won't be the liability we'd like it to be. The Terps ran for 163 yards on 4.8 yds/att against a fading Florida State defense, and the line has generally done a solid job despite all of the setbacks.
Maryland moved to more of a quick pass/screen offense in the middle of the year in an effort to help both the OL and their freshman quarterback. That's worked out pretty well. Let's just hope we're a bit more prepared for screen passes than we were last weekend.
2.) Maryland has the best punt returner in the ACC in junior wide receiver Tony Logan; Logan has returned a pair of kicks for touchdowns this year. Standout receiver Torrey Smith returns kickoffs, and while he hasn't had the same success he had in 2009, he's always dangerous. Maryland's return game is chief among the terrifying aspects of this game. These guys could easily take advantage of a none-too-surprising gaffe by State's coverage units and prove the difference in a close contest.
3.) Dear football team,
I am not above begging. Or ritual sacrifice. Whatever it takes. It's been a rough few seasons for fans and you guys alike. So please win tomorrow. (We'll play the ritual sacrifice by ear.)