|Wake Forest at Maryland Point Spread Odds, Betting Trends & Injuries|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Tuesday, 14 October 2008 17:43|
College Park, MD - Wake Forest hasn't had much success finding the end zone in its first two conference games. Thankfully, its defense has kept opponents out of theirs as well.
The No. 21 Demon Deacons visit Maryland on Saturday in an ACC matchup, trying to avoid becoming the third ranked opponent to fall to the Terrapins this season.
After scoring 71 points in its first two games against Baylor and Mississippi, Wake Forest (4-1, 2-0 ACC) has averaged 13.7 points in its last three contests, including 12 in each of its two conference games. The Demon Deacons scored their first touchdown in ACC play in a 12-7 win over Clemson on Oct. 9 as Riley Skinner connected with D.J. Boldin on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 5:28 left in the fourth quarter.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Wake Forest –1.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on Wake Forest –1.5 (View College Football bet percentages).
Skinner, who was 22-of-34 for 186 yards in the win, is the main reason why the Deacons own the top passing offense in the conference. Wake Forest averages 232 passing yards per game, which has helped offset one of the nation's lowest rushing averages at 99.0 ypg.
"I think as a throwing team, it makes it a little bit tougher on you when you get down in (the red zone) and need to knock them out in the trenches," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. "We've been in the red zone quite a few times this year, and have had mixed results to say the least. We're working at it. ... You certainly would like to run the ball more in the red zone. We'll see how it develops, but we're working hard to develop a better red-zone package."
Grobe has fewer concerns about his defense, which is holding opponents to 15.0 points and 274.2 yards of total offense per game. That unit limited Clemson to 177 total yards, including 21 rushing in last week's win.
"With the kind of team we are this year, we need to play good defense and take care of the football on offense and we need our special teams to play well," Grobe said. "I try not to put too much pressure on our defensive football team to feel like they have to go win the game."
Despite their offensive woes, the Deacons remain the only undefeated team in the ACC Atlantic.
A bye week came at a good time for Maryland (4-3, 1-1), which hopes to rebound from a 31-0 loss to Virginia on Oct. 4. The Terrapins gave up 427 yards of total offense and were 4-for-13 on third-down opportunities.
Coach Ralph Friedgen said his team was eager to get back on the field following the layoff.
"We are going to need our best effort this week, and this has been who we are a team; we come back when things were bad and we've responded," he said. "I think that is testimony to the type of kids we have here and I'm counting on it."
Maryland is led by tailback Da'Rel Scott who leads the ACC with 96.4 rushing ypg with four touchdowns. Scott's yardage, though, has decreased each game and he was held to 36 yards on 11 carries in the loss to Virginia.
The Terrapins have won four straight against ranked opponents, including victories over then-No. 23 California on Sept. 13 and then-No. 20 Clemson two weeks later. East Carolina is the only other team to knock off two top 25 teams and not be ranked themselves.
Three of Maryland's next four opponents are currently ranked, and Friedgen recognizes the importance as his team tries to compete for the ACC title.
"I think a win would do a tremendous thing for us, and we are still in this race," Friedgen said. "We don't have an easy road because all the team we play will all be very good teams, but a win this week would do a lot for us from a confidence and league (standings) standpoint."
Wake Forest has won two straight against Maryland after losing the previous seven meetings. The Terps are 19-8 in the series at College Park.
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Posted: 10/14/08 9:50 PM