Week 9 – Maryland at Boston College

Posted Oct 25, 2012

Week 9 Fearless Prediction – Maryland at Boston College

Maryland (4-3) at Boston College (1-6) Oct. 27, 1:00, ESPN3

Here's The Deal: Maryland has surprised all year with its toughness and resiliency, but now it's about to be tested at a whole different level.

The Terrapins lost their grip on the Atlantic Division lead last Saturday in excruciating fashion. Not only did they fall, 20-18, when a 33-yard field goal attempt with six seconds left hit the upright, but starting QB Perry Hills has been lost to a knee injury. The program will need to battle hard to avoid a retreat, because getting to the postseason would be an enormous step forward in second-year head coach Randy Edsall's rebuilding plan.

Barring a miraculous turnaround, there'll be no postseason for Boston College for a second straight year. The Eagles will be spoilers for the next five weeks. The team has dropped five in a row, the last two in lopsided outcomes on the road. BC is thrilled to get back home, where it's been far more competitive, for the first time in a month.

Why Maryland Might Win: Now more than ever, the D will have to dig its heels in.

The Terrapins' resurgence has been led by the defense all season long. It's a veteran, hard-nosed unit that's top 20 nationally in run defense, sacks and total D. Boston College, which is already banged up in the backfield, can forget about running the ball on a front seven headed by DE Joe Vellano and linebackers Demetrius Hartsfield, Kenneth Tate and Darin Drakeford. The Eagles will be put in obvious passing situations on third down, a recipe for turnovers and plenty of punts off the foot of Gerald Levano.

Why Boston College Might Win: The Eagles had an edge at quarterback before Hills was injured. That gap is considerably wider now.

Lost in Boston College's collapse has been the play of QB Chase Rettig, who has done well to throw 13 touchdown passes while guiding the offense. He's surrounded by sure-handed receivers, like Alex Amidon, Johnathan Coleman and TE Chris Pantale, who recently returned from injury. The Eagles defense, which has been in tatters all year, could get a break this week by playing an already youthful Maryland attack that must now break in a first-time starter behind center.

What To Watch Out For: So now who gets the ball from Edsall?

The Terps used two quarterbacks after Hills went down, with surprising success. Converted wide receiver Devin Burns is more of a read-option type guy who'll bring athleticism and scrambling ability to the pocket. True freshman Caleb Rowe, on the other hand, is the better passer, and the player who led Maryland down the field for its potential game-tying field goal. Expect to see both play this week at Alumni Stadium.

What Will Happen: Hurdles may be mounting, but don't count Maryland out just yet.

The Terrapins are comprised of a tough bunch of players, who are capable of overcoming the loss of a second starting quarterback this season. They have a lot left to play for, unlike this week's opponent, and boast a defense capable of rising up and carrying even more of the weight. Similar to most of this year's Maryland games, this one will be close, low-scoring and hinge on a key play or two in the final 15 minutes.

CFN Prediction: Maryland 26 … Boston College 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Boston College -1 O/U: 47
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Girl, 1 – Don't Trust The B In Apt. 23): 2