Time is not on my side. I’ve spent time the last two days putting word to page about the upcoming Clemson-Maryland game. Obviously, none of those words have actually made it to the blog. So now, to try to actually get something published before the game actually starts, I’ll leave you all with the following.
Living in Northern Virginia, as I do, I have the opportunity to see a lot of Maryland football games being replayed on TV. As such, I have gotten to see large chunks of their victories against both a ranked Cal team and a frequently-badly-beaten Eastern Michigan team.
Maryland undoubtedly deserves credit for winning those games. The fact is they’re 3-1 with a win over a top-25 team while we are top-25 team that’s 3-1 with wins over no one particularly important; makes our season-to-date pale in comparison, doesn’t it? Nonetheless, one is not left with the impression that Maryland is that good a football team. They are perhaps more opportunistic than good. The bad news for UMD and the good for Clemson is that Maryland’s defense, short of forcing turnovers, seems largely incapable of stopping people. Cal had a ton of yards and long drives, as did EMU. The UMD-EMU game would likely have been much different had Maryland not picked off a pass in the end zone early in the game after the Eagles had driven almost the entire length of the field.
Some journalists have suggested that the Tigers may be looking past Maryland to Wake Forest. If that is the case, Saturday will be an extremely long day. The keys to the game are to protect the ball and, most importantly, focus on beating the opponent. If Clemson plays to not lose, they will.