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We're Only Mostly Dead

Russell Wilson insists that there is no friction between the offense and defense, and Jarvis Williams is reminding everybody that the team isn't dead yet because bowl eligibility is still technically possible.  But if the Pack cannot find a way to slow Maryland's anemic offense, which is the second-worst unit they're going to see in conference play this year, all of this maybe-there's-a-chance business ends.  Maryland represents the last should-win opportunity on the Pack's schedule; that failure here effectively ends the season is nothing if not appropriate.

In terms of completion percentage, yards per attempt, TD-INT ratio, and quarterback rating, Chris Turner is the same as he ever was, and thus so too is the Maryland passing game.  Capable if not consistent, Turner generally completes a good percentage of his throws for modest yardage per attempt.  In the place of departed receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Danny Oquendo are Torrey Smith and Adrian Cannon, both of whom have been good for about 4 grabs per game.  Smith ranks 5th in the ACC in receiving yards, 9th in receptions, 8th in yards per catch, and he leads the Terps with 4 TD receptions.  He's the guy to watch.

The offense's production has dropped from 5.5 yards per play in 2008 to 4.8 in '09, and with production through the air remaining similar in both years, that leaves the running game.  Running back Da'Rel Scott, who piled up 1133 yards on just 209 carries in 2008, went down with an injury at the start of conference play and hasn't seen any action since October 3rd (he won't play against NC State).  The Terps weren't as effective running the ball as they were last season even with Scott, and their problems have only worsened in his absence.  They've also been without freshman RB Gary Douglas, who could be back to provide some help this week.  Davin Meggett was left to pick up most of the slack, though Maryland hasn't been giving him feature back-level touches.  Meggett should bet most of the work, but keep an eye out for Caleb Porzel, a 5-8, 170 pound freshman that has big time speed.

Maryland Yds/Play OppYds/Play Net Yds/Play Yds/Rush Yds/PassAtt OppYds/Rush OppYds/PassAtt
2008 Overall 5.5 5.2 +0.3 4.3 6.7 3.9 6.6
2009 Overall 4.8 5.6 -0.8 2.8 6.8 3.8 7.7
2008 vs. ACC 4.9 5.1 -0.2 3.4 6.3 4.2 6.3
2009 vs. ACC 4.4 5.0 -0.6 2.3 6.6 2.4 7.5