2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 12, Maryland at Wake Forest
ACC Fearless Predictions &
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Nov. 19 at Wake Forest 31 … Maryland 10
CFN Analysis: Tanner Price threw at will on the mediocre Maryland secondary, and the running game that’s been so pedestrian got a great performance out of Brandon Pendergrass, who ran for 125 yards and as score. Price’s 320 yards and three touchdowns turned the game into a blowout. … The defense got rumbled on by the Terp ground game, but it did a decent job of getting off the field with several key plays behind the line. The ball control from the offense helped. … The win stopped a three game losing streak and made the Demon Deacons bowl eligible, but a win over Vanderbilt to close out the regular season would be a plus to solidify a decent trip.
The Terps haven’t had problems running the ball this year, and that continued because of quarterback C.J. Brown, who rumbled for 110 yards on 13 carries. However, he only completed 20-of-42 passes. He spread the ball around well, but there weren’t any big plays. … Demetrius Hartsfield came up with a big performance with 14 tackles and cleaned up plenty of messes from the line. He also came up with two tackles for loss. … The loss makes it seven straight with a trip to NC State to close. It would be nice if the passing game was more efficient, but the Terps’ biggest issue is a run defense that keeps getting gouged.
(AP) WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Tanner Price threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns, and Wake Forest snapped a three-game losing streak to become bowl eligible with a 31-10 victory over Maryland on Saturday night.
Brandon Pendergrass ran for 125 yards and a score and Jimmy Newman hit a 25-yard field goal for the Demon Deacons (6-5, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who also got a record-setting day from wide receiver Chris Givens.
Givens had eight catches for a career-best 191 yards and a score, and broke a 22-year-old Wake Forest single-season receiving record. With one game remaining, Givens now has 1,207 yards, surpassing the old mark of 1,053 yards set by Ricky Proehl in 1989.
Quarterback C.J. Brown threw for 186 yards and a touchdown and ran for 110 more for the Terrapins (2-9, 1-6), who were tied 7-7 at the half but managed just a 42-yard Nick Ferrara field goal in the final two quarters.
Givens broke Proehl's record during the Demon Deacons' lone scoring drive in the first half, pulling in a 14-yarder from Price to put the ball at the Maryland 2. Price then hit Cameron Ford on a 2-yard pass on the next play to put Wake Forest up 7-0 with 5:17 left in the first quarter.
Price -- who came within six yards of tying his career-best passing game, set earlier this season against Navy -- also hit Terrence Davis with a 10-yard TD pass early in the fourth quarter, then gave Givens his career-high game with a 35-yard scoring pass midway through the final period.
Brown, who took over as Maryland's sole starting quarterback when Danny O'Brien suffered a broken arm last week against Notre Dame, put the Terrapins in position to tie the score with less than two minutes left in the first half.
Taking over with 1:27 remaining, Brown used runs of 14 and 20 yards to move the ball into Wake Forest territory, then found Justus Pickett in the back of the end zone on a 31-yard TD pass with 12 seconds left to tie the game.
However, Maryland also had two scoring opportunities wasted, with Ferrara missing field goal attempts of 32 yards in the first quarter and 36 yards in the third. The Terrapins also had two other red-zone scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter stopped on downs.
Maryland (2-8) at Wake Forest (5-5) Nov. 19, 3:00, RSN
Here’s The Deal … So close. Wake Forest came so painfully close a week ago to making the stakes for this week’s visit from Maryland so much higher than they are today. On the verge of taking control of the Atlantic Division, the Demon Deacons squandered a two-touchdown lead in the second half, falling at heavily-favored Clemson, 31-28, on a last-second field. Now, instead of playing for a divisional clincher, they’re simply hoping to cop the sixth win needed to become bowl eligible.
The Terrapins should have such problems as Wake Forest. It’s been a horrifying season in College Park for new head coach Randy Edsall, who hasn’t beaten a fellow member of the FBS since Labor Day. Maryland isn’t just losing games at this stage, it’s being dominated. Not only have they dropped five straight by double-digits for the first time in 13 years, but QB Danny O’Brien has been lost for the season with a broken bone in his non-throwing hand.
Why Maryland Might Win: What will Wake Forest’s mindset be coming off last week’s emotionally-deflating loss? It won’t be sky-high, especially with one of the ACC’s worst teams visiting. Sure, O’Brien will be missed, but not as much as many believe. Backup C.J. Brown has provided a spark with his legs, rushing for more than 100 yards in back-to-back games in October.
The wheels have begun to come off a Demon Deacons defense that’s allowed at least 30 points in four of the last six games. Wake is not getting any pressure, and has been bullied at the point of attack, which could also create daylight for running backs Davin Meggett and D.J. Adams.
Why Wake Forest Might Win: Sure, the Deacons D will spring leaks, but the Maryland defense has been bailing out water since the beginning of the season. Obliterated on a weekly basis, the Terrapins now rank last in ACC scoring and total defense, allowing more than 32 points a game. Wake Forest will attack its fading visitor with a combination of weapons on the ground and through the air.
Veteran Brandon Pendergrass has supplanted injured RB Josh Harris, rushing for 280 yards and four touchdowns over the last three games. And accurate lefty Tanner Price will pick apart the Terps secondary, with support from preferred targets Chris Givens and Michael Campanaro.
What To Watch Out For: Since film will indicate that Brown is most dangerous when he leaves the pocket, he’ll need to make a few connections through the air early to prevent Wake from stacking the box. Now that Maryland’s best passer is done for the year, the Demon Deacons figure to inch up some of their best run defenders from the back seven, such as S Cyhl Quarles and linebackers Kyle Wilber and Justin Jackson. If Brown wants to keep these guys honest, he’ll have to do so with his right arm.
What Will Happen: Only a severe hangover from the Clemson game is going to keep Wake Forest from snapping its three-game losing streak on Saturday. It’ll be a motivated squad that sees Maryland as an ideal foe for punching a ticket to a postseason game for the first time since 2008. The Deacons offense will lead the charge with their best game in over a month, mixing in the running of Pendergrass with the intermediate passes of Price to pull away for good shortly before halftime. Although Brown will have some success running the ball, neither he nor the Maryland offense is built at this time to excel when forced to score quickly in comeback mode.
CFN Prediction: Wake Forest 33 … Maryland 21
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Wake Forest -10.5 O/U: 56
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