Sunday, December 21, 2014
Maryland Offense vs. Nevada Defense
Nevada is holding opponents to an average of just 74.5 rushing yards per game and the Wolf Pack will make it difficult for RB Da'Rel Scott to get outside. Defensive ends Kevin Basped and Dontay Moch have quick first steps and the two have combined to record 34 tackles-for-loss. Their ability to shoot into the backfield will put them in position to either spill Scott inside where there is help or string him out to the sideline when he tries to turn the corner. That said there's two reasons to believe Scott will find room to work between the tackles. First off, DTs Mundrae Clifton and Nate Agaiava aren't big or strong enough to consistently hold their ground working against a physical Terrapin interior offensive line that's led by 315-pound center Edwin Williams. Secondly, the Wolf Pack will be without MLB Joshua Mauga who will miss this game with a pectoral injury.
As well as Nevada as defended the run, no team in the FBS is giving up more passing yards per game than the Wolf Pack and Maryland has the weapons to exploit this weakness. At receiver, Darrius Heyward-Bey is expected to return to the lineup after missing the regular season finale with a leg injury. He's a playmaker who can stretch the field and pick up chunks of yards after the catch. At tight end, 6-foot-6, 255-pound Dan Gronkowski is a reliable possession receiver who uses his wide frame to shield defenders from the ball and rarely drops passes he gets his hands on. However, there is some concern about Maryland's ability to give QB Chris Turner enough time to find the open man. While Maryland allowed a total of 11 sacks in consecutive losses to Florida State and Boston College over the course of its last two games, the Wolf Pack pass rush has been one of the most productive in the country.
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