Much Needed Game
Blacksburg , VA - Maryland has had more trouble against unranked opponents than ranked ones this season.
What is of even bigger concern to the Terrapins this week, however, is the health of the ACC's top running back.
The No. 23 Terps try to hold onto first place in the ACC Atlantic Division on Thursday night when they visit Virginia Tech, with both teams hoping bye weeks provided some needed rest for key injured players.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Virginia Tech –3.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 57% of bets for this game have been placed on Virginia Tech –3.5 (View College Football bet percentages).
Maryland (6-2, 3-1) is especially focused on the status of top running back Da'Rel Scott, who re-injured his shoulder in a 27-24 win over North Carolina State on Oct. 25. Scott, who was originally hurt Sept. 13 against California, rushed for 163 yards against the Wolfpack - the first time he ran for more than 100 since finishing with 123 against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 6.
After injuring the shoulder the following week, Scott rushed for a combined 148 yards and one touchdown over the next three games. Despite that, he leads the conference and ranks 26th nationally in rushing at 102.6 yards per game, and has run for five touchdowns.
"I see Da'Rel maturing on almost a daily basis," coach Ralph Friedgen said. "I see him turning into a leader on our team."
Friedgen's squad is ranked for the first time since 2006 after beating Top 25 teams Cal, Clemson and Wake Forest by an average of 12.3 points. It's unranked teams, though, that have given the Terps problems this season.
Maryland is 3-2 versus opponents outside the poll, and has been outscored 110-106 in the five games. Two of the three wins have come by a touchdown less, including their most recent victory, which was decided on Obi Egekeze's 20-yard field goal with 6 seconds remaining.
"It was a big win for us," Friedgen said. "I thought it was one of the crucial wins for our seasons. ... We are kind of where we want to be, we have our destiny in our hands and it's just what we do with it."
Maryland is a half-game up on Wake Forest and Florida State in the Atlantic.
While Scott's injury is a big worry for the Terps, the Hokies might have even bigger injury concerns with their top two quarterbacks hurting.
Virginia Tech (5-3, 2-2) lost starter Tyrod Taylor and backup Sean Glennon in a 30-20 loss to then-No. 24 Florida State on Oct. 25, and it's uncertain if either one will be able to play this week.
Taylor and Glennon suffered high ankle sprains, with Taylor going down on the first play from scrimmage and Glennon getting knocked out in the third quarter. Seldom-used fifth-year senior Cory Holt took over and went 3-for-6 for 28 yards and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Andre Smith in the fourth quarter.
"He had been working as a wide receiver all week," coach Frank Beamer said of Holt. "It's a credit to him that he came in and made a couple of plays, battled, picked up a nice first down, made a nice throw, did a nice job."
Since winning five in a row, Virginia Tech has dropped back-to-back games. The Hokies averaged 241.5 yards of offense the last two contests after averaging 302.8 during the win streak.
Against the Seminoles, they had only 82 yards rushing - a number they'll likely need to improve on Thursday given their uncertain situation at quarterback. Virginia Tech, though, is fourth in the ACC in rushing with 160.0 yards per game.
Maryland has lost three straight to Virginia Tech since winning six in a row in the series. The last meeting was at College Park in 2005, a 28-9 Hokies victory.
Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
VIRGINIA TECH is 3-0 against the spread versus MARYLAND since 1992
VIRGINIA TECH is 3-0 straight up against MARYLAND since 1992
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.
All games played at VIRGINIA TECH since 1992
VIRGINIA TECH is 2-0 against the spread versus MARYLAND since 1992
VIRGINIA TECH is 2-0 straight up against MARYLAND since 1992
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Key Player Injuries
[LB] Adrian Moten is expected to miss 4-5 weeks. - Wrist - 10/01/08
[DB] Kevin Barnes out for season. - Shoulder - 10/21/08
[DB] Richard Taylor out for the season - Knee - 09/21/08
[WR] Kevin Dorsey is expected to miss entire season - Foot - 09/05/08
(!) [QB] Sean Glennon injured last game, upgraded to %27?%27 - Ankle - 10/
(!) [QB] Tyrod Taylor injured last game, %27?%27 - Ankle - 10/25/08
[RB] Ryan Williams will redshirt. - None - 09/17/08
[WR] Zach Luckett is out indefinitely - Suspension - 09/08/08
[WR] Ike Whitaker is out indefinitely. - Suspension - 10/02/08
[WR] Brandon Dillard expected to miss entire season - ACL - 07/17/08
[SS] Davon Morgan is expected to miss the rest of the season. - Knee - 09/
[FS] Ron Cooper is expected to miss the season. - ACL - 08/11/08
[LB] Bruce Taylor likely to miss the rest of the season. - Shoulder - 10/0
[WR] Xavier Boyce is expected to miss the rest of the season. - Knee - 10/
[RB] Kenny Lewis out for the season - Ankle - 10/04/08
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Posted: 11/04/08 1:30 PM