Week 11 - Syracuse at Maryland

Posted Nov 6, 2013

Week 11 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Syracuse at Maryland

Syracuse (4-4) at Maryland (5-3) Nov. 9, 3:30, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: While Syracuse and Maryland have a long history in football, the programs haven't played since 1994. And might not play for a while now that the Terps are headed off to the Big Ten in 2014. The Orange reached the .500 mark with last week's shutout of Wake Forest in the Carrier Dome. It'll need to split its final two games in order to make a return engagement in the postseason. The Terps' final bye of 2013 came at an opportune time, giving the staff a chance to focus on some of the younger players now getting minutes. The program, especially head coach Randy Edsall, would really benefit from the bowl berth that's eluded it over the last two years. It's dropped three of the last four games since cracking the Top 25 in late September.

Why Syracuse Might Win: Defense and the ground game. The Orange has an old-school blueprint for success that it hopes will result in a bonus game in December. Syracuse wants to soften the Terps with the running of Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley, and then turn the game over to the blue-collar D. The Orange has been sturdy at the line of scrimmage, attacking the opposition with DT Jay Bromley and an athletic corps of linebackers.

Why Maryland Might Win: The Terrapins will enjoy an edge at the most important position on the field. They expect to get back linchpin QB C.J. Brown, one of a number of players who missed the last game against Clemson. Brown is a multi-dimensional difference-maker, while Syracuse QB Terrel Hunt is barely hanging on to his job. Maryland is also banking on the return of top back Brandon Ross, so this team has a chance to look very different than the one that dropped its last two games.

Who To Watch Out For: A week without a game gave Brown and backup Caleb Rowe more time to work with young wide receivers Nigel King, Levern Jacobs and Amba Etta-Tawo. The Terps are still adjusting to life after the season-ending injuries to starters Stefon Diggs and Deon Long.

- While Hunt is having all kinds of problems through the air, he has found a new weapon in rookie WR Brisly Estime. The 5-9, 170-pounder found Wake Forest's soft spots last week, catching a career-high nine balls for 62 yards and a touchdown.

- The Orange has been solid in pass protection this season, but it'll be tested Saturday afternoon by Marcus Whitfield. Technically a linebacker, he has the size and the get-off to rush the passer like a traditional end.

What Will Happen: Toss-up, with the edge going to Maryland because it's home and as healthy as it's been in a while. Both teams are flawed, but the Terps will get a boost from the returns of key players, especially if Brown can suit up. Maryland will squeak by to earn a coveted, potentially job-saving spot in the postseason.

Prediction: Maryland 27 … Syracuse 20
Line: Maryland -6 o/u: 53
Must See Rating: (5 The Wolf of Wall Street – 1 Ass Backwards) … 2
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