(25) Maryland Terrapins (4-0) at (8) Florida State Seminoles (4-0) Preview

imageThe #25 Terrapins (4-0, 0-0) are headed to #8 Tallahassee (4-0, 2-0) for the 24th meeting between the two teams and the last conference matchup before the Terrapins head to the Big 10 in 2014.

Ranked 4th in the FBS in pass defense and 6th in total defense, 2nd in the ACC in QB pass efficiency rating and team sacks, and first in the ACC in total defense, offensive yards, all purpose yards and rushing touchdowns, the Terrapins, yes…that was not a typo…the Terrapins, are looking to go 5-0 in Doak Campbell Stadium.

Neither team has suffered a loss this season, yet neither team has faced an opponent as strong as the other. This is a must win for the Seminoles who can only afford a loss against Clemson in the regular season to reach Pasadena in January, including the conference title game.

imageMaryland thrives in the passing game, with senior QB, C.J. Brown, and sophomore WR, Stefon Diggs, leading the team to their decisive wins this season. Brown is a highly underrated QB in the ACC, with a 7-1 TD to interception ratio and averaging over 10 yards per attempt. Despite those numbers he has struggled in the pocket against better competition, but he is very effective on the ground and is the team’s second leading rusher.

Florida State’s defense has not been thoroughly tested this fall and must remain alert to defend against the Terps’ WR duo in Diggs and Deon Long. The Seminoles played subpar defense against Boston College, allowing four sacks against QB Jameis Winston. Maryland likes to use Diggs as a decoy among a variety of other subversive plays, which could also present problems for FSU’s defense, which struggled with those very types of plays against BC. They need to remain vigilant, yet still find a way to shut down Diggs and Long.

Coming off a bye week, the Terps have had two weeks to prepare for this game, arguably the biggest game for the team in almost two years. The Terps are calling a mulligan for the entire 2012 season. In case you don’t remember the bizarre season…by the end of week 8, Maryland had lost five quarterbacks (Danny O’Brien transferred over the summer and four went down to season ending injuries) and looked to true freshman linebacker Shawn Petty to drag the team to a 4-8 record.

As they board their “pride” plane this afternoon (Southwest airline’s specially painted plane to look like the Maryland flag), they are ready to prove they are a truly good football team.

Prediction: Maryland 28 – FSU 24

- Lindsay Simpson / @lindsaysimpson

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