|Wake Forest, Maryland meet for ACC division lead|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 17 October 2008 09:39|
Each can be used to describe the Maryland football team - and to a lesser degree, No. 21 Wake Forest.
The Terrapins have won four straight against ranked opponents, including victories last month against California and Clemson. They have also lost to Middle Tennessee State, been manhandled 31-0 at Virginia and barely beat Delaware at home.
Sometimes, Maryland looks like a Top 25 team. Most times, not.
``We are 4-2 and I don't think we've even come close to playing at our potential as a team,'' coach Ralph Friedgen said. ``We probably should feel fortunate to be where we are right now. But I am still waiting for us to play to where I think we can play.''
issippi and then-No. 24 Florida State, Wake Forest (4-1, 2-0) committed six turnovers in a home loss to Navy.
So what can the Terrapins (4-2, 1-1) expect after watching the Demon Deacons defeat Clemson last week?
``I think they're probably looking at us the same way, wondering if they're getting the team that got beat by Navy or the team that beat Clemson,'' Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. ``They're probably saying the same things about us. I think every team's starting to figure out that there are no givens in this deal. You've got to go play. You've got to have good energy and you've got to play good if you're going to beat anybody in this league.''
That wasn't the case a few years ago, when Wake Forest was a perennial bottom-feeder. But Grobe has turned the Demon Deacons into a Top 25 team looking for a third straight win in a series led handily by Maryland (40-15-1).
The Terrapins had won seven in a row over Wake Forest until two years ago, when the Demon Deacons upended Maryland 38-24 in a game for the Atlantic Division title. Last year, Wake rebounded from a 24-3 deficit to win 31-24 in overtime.
``I know they remember last year. And the year before,'' Wake Forest defensive end Anthony Davis said.
No question about it.
rps center Edwin Williams said, shaking his head at the memory. ``At the same time, we have to know what we're getting ourselves into. They're a very good team. We have to play our best game thus far, because this is probably the best team we've played.''
A victory will put Maryland in a first-place tie. That should put the Terrapins in the proper frame of mind as they seek to extend a run of success against ranked foes that began last year with victories over Rutgers and Boston College.
To win, Maryland must get more production from running back Da'Rel Scott than the Demon Deacons get from quarterback Riley Skinner (seven TD passes, 68 percent completion percentage, 1,160 yards passing).
Scott leads the ACC with 96.4 yards rushing per game, but was held to 39 yards against Clemson and 36 at Virginia. He and backup Devin Meggett will be a big part of the game plan for a team ranked fourth in the ACC in rushing yardage.
So perhaps the Terrapins aren't that much of a mystery after all.
``I don't think it's a tough read. Every year we play Maryland, they run the ball on us,'' Davis said. ``... It's really been not a good thing for the Deacs. So if we go in with the mind-set that it's going to be a tough ball game and be physical with this team, it's going to be OK.''