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The Official Prediction Thread

You are reading this while I am on a plane headed to Oakland. I am probably somewhere over Ottumwa, Iowa, (home to Indian Hills JC) by now. My thoughts on the game are as follows: I think it will be closer than what the folks in Las Vegas believe.

I first thought this was a two-touchdown game. The more I learned about Maryland’s defense, the more I thought the Terrapins would hang in there. I believe California is the better team, and the team with fewer weaknesses. Some, but not all, the youngsters on Maryland will have the deer-in-the-headlights look come 10 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.

I think some Maryland receivers will make big plays, but I also think California’s defensive backs will win some of the battles, as well. There will be big plays and turnovers. Jahvid Best will have his moments, but there won’t be a need to hand him the Heisman on Saturday night. Kevin Riley and Chris Turner will play well enough, but nothing special from either.

The difference, in my view, will be Maryland’s offensive line. I have a hard time believing it can consistently hold up against a Cal defensive line that returns all of its starters, including a stud by the name of Tyson Alualu.

Prediction: 35-21, California.

Your thoughts?

Let’s get some predictions rolling in the comments section. Or feel free to email me some predictions because I’d love to see what everyone thinks while I am out enjoying the Berkeley ambience later today.

And, please, if anyone knows of any restaurants, or whatever, in Berkeley that you’d recommend, Thanks.

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 4, 2009; 9:07 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Hasn't Turner played his best games against top 25 teams? Why would this game be any different, especially since it is in his home state.

Terps 24-Cal 20

Posted by: myrtlebeachterp | September 4, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

As we saw with the NCSU/SC and Boise/OU games last night, I think turnovers will play a huge role in the game (as they normally do).

If we can limit (or even eliminate) our turnovers, and Brown's D can cause some, we stand a good chance to win IMO.

I honestly feel good about our chances. We have a smart QB that knows how to read defenses and can get us into the right check-downs if need be. And I like the surprised element of our 'D'.

I say we limit our turnovers and cause a few. I also say our return/special teams game gets us good field position. Terps win 31-24. GO TERPS!

Posted by: sargeantmofo | September 4, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I got a bad feeling about this one. A bad feeling. I'm thinking the Terps get blown out based on past nationally televised night games. Who knows? Maybe Turner will put in one of his performances against a top 25 team. But of all the games on the Terps schedule, I think this is the hardest. It's good that it's the first game of the season cause anything can happen before teams know how good they are. All that said, i've never predicted the Terps to lose on here, and I still won't!

Terps 38 Cal 35

Posted by: aviscardo | September 4, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Terps 21 Cal 17

Cal has problems with Terps Defense which scores a TD. Scott with a big day, 1 TD. Cannon with a TD too. Best racks up the yards and scores twice but a fumble in the second half proves costly.

Posted by: fushezzi | September 4, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I can't seriously sit here and predict that the Terps will lose. If they win, I think it will be something like 35-31.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | September 4, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Terps by 10.

Posted by: Realness1 | September 4, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Prisbell. The Oline has to hold (theoretically) its own for Turner, Scott, to squeak out a win. If not, we get get ground down.
A bet with the heart: MD 21-20.
A bet with the head: take the pts, Cal 24-14.

Posted by: gbx79 | September 4, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Fushezzi: Nostradamus-esque with the prediction.

Posted by: aviscardo | September 4, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Fushezzi's also been predicting he will die by the age of 33, which he'll be in a few let's hope he's not too accurate with all his predictions.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 4, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Terps will fall down big early, by 2 or 3 scores (or more). Rally. And then fall short.

The time difference is the biggest factor in this game.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 4, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Ugly game. Lots of turnovers. Cal 27 Terps 13.

Posted by: epdaly | September 4, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I definitely see the defenses winning out here which means there won't be much scoring. I'll go with the under and take the points. The time change will not effect them.

Heart: 20-17 MD
Head: 24-20 Cal

Posted by: DiehardTerp | September 4, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

30-21 Terps in a blowout until the final quarter...Best is bottled up most of the game except for 2 eletrifying runs. Tate continues his dominance with an interception and/or sack. CT throws for 300+ yards...CALLIN IT

Posted by: merajc86 | September 4, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I predict an absolute blowout of epic proportions in favor of my Terps - 42-17. As one-sided as a late 80s / early 90s Superbowl. Mistakes aplenty on both sides but the Terps capitalize while the Golden Pears rot. A very quiet stadium as the Terps jump out to an early lead and Cal only scores garbage points near the end of the game after our stars are sitting. And I stick to my prediction of 14-0 and a NC until proven otherwise.

Posted by: HughGRection | September 4, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Jet lag will not be a problem. Closer then anyone in Vegas thinks.

Terps 28 Cal 27 Big upset.


Posted by: JoeR123 | September 4, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Last nights games were low scoring. Defense over offense early in the year? UMD 13 - Cal 10.

A little off topic, but why is Cal favored over Terps by 21 and Ohio St only 22 over Navy?

Posted by: erniegogo | September 4, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Cal's looking for payback from last year and the Terps have a lot of youth. Despite our success with Top 25 teams, Cal will win this one at home, perhaps big: 31-17.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 4, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

The Terps are young, skilled where they need to be, in terrific shape and their mental attitude is the best I've seen in years. The O and D lines are untested but the talent is there. The're going out to play on a perfect football night with very little humidity. Athletically they get the nod over Cal because mere talent overall and conditioning. The Maryland defense should at least create havoc during the first half. Barring mistakes the game should be close, I'd go with the Terps 31-24.

Posted by: terp74 | September 4, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Colin from the herd(espn) predicted a cal blow-out 41-13...

He is usually close in his predictions and he does actually place his bets in vegas...

If cal strikes early then we are in trouble however if we can stay close till the middle of the 3rd quater..upset in making

Still very nervous

Posted by: carolina1 | September 4, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

TERPS hang in for awile, CAL takes over in 2nd qtr,leaving MD behind 42-10.sorry
As far as restaurnt's,i would'nt recomend any,since you probably DON'T TIP!!! would'nt want anyone to harnish MD's name,as some have tried with the basketball program. WONDER WHO??? WAPO!!

Posted by: curtsterps | September 4, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I recommend going to Raleigh's beforehand, great beer big TVs, decent prices, lots of visitor fans...

And after the loss anywhere in SF should be fine, great food everywhere...

MD's suspect O-line gets exposed by this experienced D-line of Cal, Turner spends much of the evening on his back. MD hangs in it for the first half, Bears pull away in the second half, 35-24(ish) Golden Bear victory!!!!

Don't get your hopes up fellas, an upset is possible, but a Bear home opener win is much more likely (check Tedford's stats at Memorial Stadium to start the season)... Bears roll, Terrapins fold... Have fun staying up late tomorrow night guys!

Posted by: CruzinBears | September 4, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

CruzinBears,,Make sure you show up tomorrow on the board.. Not even the good weed will help ease the pain...

USC RULES..Get use to it just like you have inyears past..

Posted by: carolina1 | September 5, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

cruzinbears is very involved on the game conversation thread on the espn site. I have been reading through that one. Some interesting stuff amidst the friendly (mostly) trash talking from both sides dating back to March.

Regardless of the game outcome this has certainly been an interesting OOC home and home.

Posted by: jake177 | September 5, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Great pregame predictions by about 90% of you. Maybe some more research in the future instead of wishful thinking. What part did you miss about Cal besides about 60 points from the actual score? Could it be the 7 sacks? 13 yard rushing average for Best? 4 touchdown passes by Riley? 25-point halftime lead? 500+ total yards offense? Maybe next time someone puts up a 22 point spread you may want to believe they know a little something. The prediction you should have been making is which week will the new defensive coordinator be fired for installing a defensive scheme without the personnel to implement it. And scheming is what this team will be doing all year to hide all the weaknesses. 5th in the ACC sounds a little generous right now.

Posted by: RodneySoul | September 6, 2009 2:49 AM | Report abuse

'nuff said...

Posted by: MichBear | September 6, 2009 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Reading most of these "predictions" after the game has given me a very good laugh. Thank you, as a laugh is exactly what is needed, after that stinker .500 Fridge and his boys player.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 6, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Terps will fall down big early, by 2 or 3 scores (or more). Rally. And then fall short.

The time difference is the biggest factor in this game.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 4, 2009 12:40 PM

Well at least one of us nailed it.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 6, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The Terps are a mediocre football team. Can't wait for next week's prediction thread.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 6, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I'll start it off:

Next week we dominate JMU.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 6, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Barno1, in your wet dreams.... terps dominate???.. keep this post.... terps win but by slim margin..the o line and turner are in for a long season...

Posted by: carolina1 | September 7, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Mark this post.. By game time it will be down 13

Posted by: carolina1 | August 11, 2009 3:51 PM

Carolina1, you've demonstrated many times on this blog your sheer stupidity, but this one takes the cake. there is no chance whatsoever that the line will move 8.5 points between now and game time.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 11, 2009 4:02 PM

if you would like to make a friendly wager i am all for it. I say it will be 13 to 13.5

Your post comments are welcome and i look forward to your bet.

You can pay me at the first game i have a numbered VIP SPOT SO I WILL NOT BE HARD TO FIND...


Posted by: carolina1 | August 12, 2009 9:48 AM

Carolina, where is my $$$ for our bet on the point spread? Classy guy like you would never back out of paying up.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 7, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

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