Here are five questions heading into tomorrow’s game:
1) Will Maryland stretch the field more vertically?
Ralph Friedgen said he held some of the offensive game plan back last week against Delaware. And offensive coordinator James Franklin would like nothing more than to open up the offense more and stretch the field with explosive plays. Quarterback Chris Turner will need to get the ball down field to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Last week, Jordan Steffy completed a 36-yard pass to Heyward-Bey to put the Terrapins in scoring position, but had Steffy hit Heyward-Bey in stride, it likely would have been a touchdown.
2) Can Maryland dominate on the ground?
It is hard to see how the Terrapins don’t dominate the running game. Maryland’s offensive line outweighs Delaware’s defensive line by and average of 58 pounds a man. Running back Da’Rel Scott, who had 197 yards last week, should have the extra gear that he lacked against Delaware. His leg infection also should not be a factor. Look for freshman Davin Meggett and perhaps even sophomore Morgan Green to also get carries.
3) How much will Josh Portis look to pass?
Portis probably has the strongest arm on the team. After running on four plays last week, Portis says he is eager to open up the offense and attack with big plays. Heading into the California game, it would be nice to see exactly what kind of threat Portis can be, and how much he can do besides run the ball. Friedgen said Portis called one play wrong last week, so that needs to get corrected.
4) Can Obi Egekeze get on track?
Egekeze missed three field goals last week, all longer than 40 yards, and he took it pretty hard. Friedgen was not too hard on Egekeze because he did not want to pile on and hurt the senior’s confidence. Egekeze performed well in practice and nailed a long field goal during a two-minute drill. Replicating that on the road would boost his confidence.
5) When will MTSU go to the bag of tricks?
Friedgen said MTSU could play two quarterbacks who can run and that the Blue Raiders can use some trickery throughout the game. They have two running backs who are capable and fast, although MTSU only rushed for 84 yards last week in the 31-17 loss to Troy. MTSU has some roster issues. No team in the country has fewer seniors. And MTSU only has 67 healthy and eligible scholarship players. Despite the home field advantage, they appear to be significantly out-manned.
Any other issues I missed?
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