It’s Clemson week, and the biggest issues all week are personnel issues. The Tigers seemingly cleared up their personnel issue with Coach Dabo Swinney saying Sunday that quarterback Tajh Boyd is “definitely probable” for Saturday’s game against Maryland. Boyd suffered a strained hip in the Tigers’ victory over Boston College, and Clemson’s fan base held its breath until Swinney relieved everyone’s concerns about their star player.
As for Maryland, the Terrapins released their depth chart Monday night. Predictably, the starting quarterback is listed as Danny O’Brien or C.J. Brown. Coach Randy Edsall said to expect a game-time decision about his starting quarterback. Neither quarterback has been made available to reporters this week.
The Terrapins (2-3, 1-1 ACC) have a slew of injury concerns, as well. Neither linebacker Darin Drakeford nor defensive lineman Andre Monroe were listed on the depth chart. Both have been sidelined with ankle injuries. But linebackers Kenny Tate and Demetrius Hartsfield both were listed as starters at their respective positions. Hartsfield left Saturday’s loss at Georgia Tech early in the third quarter with what appeared to be a lower-body injury. Tate participated in pregame stretching routines with his right leg bandaged, but the senior did not play. Edsall said Tate was not close to playing. A school spokesperson confirmed to me that Tate is in fact physically injured.
Offensively, sophomore Pete White is listed as the starter at left guard, taking over for senior Andrew Gonnella, who suffered what Edsall called a “very serious knee” injury early in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech. Gonnella is out for the season.
And on top of all that is the curious case of sophomore running back D.J. Adams. Last season, Adams excelled in short-yardage situations, scoring 11 rushing touchdowns. This season, he missed the Miami game because of a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules. Edsall strongly suggested in recent weeks that he would lean on senior Davin Meggett and freshman Justus Pickett instead of Adams. And at this point, it would surprise few if Adams gets few or zero carries the rest of the way. The exact reason for the lack of carries remains a mystery. Edsall did not address Adams when asked a specific question about Adams on Sunday.
I still feel that the player Maryland can least afford to lose to injury is Joe Vellano, who had 20 tackles Saturday. But which player is most important to get back on the field Saturday? And how do you feel about the uncertainty surrounding the quarterback situation?