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MARYLAND vs. N.C. STATE

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

WHEN: 3:30 p.m. WHERE: Byrd Stadium, College Park (51,500). FORECAST: Low 60s, scattered thunderstorms.

RADIO: WHFS (105.7 FM), WJFK (106.7 FM), WFMD (930 AM), WJFK (1300 AM), WPTX (1690 AM).

RECORDS: Terrapins (5-2, 2-1 ACC); Wolfpack (2-5, 0-3 ACC).

COACHES: Ralph Friedgen (61-33, eighth year); Tom O'Brien (7-12, second year).

WHEN THE TERRAPINS HAVE THE BALL: Chris Turner, the ACC's top-rated passer, is coming off one of his best games, having thrown for a season-high 321 yards against Wake Forest. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey finally became a focal point of the offense again; he had a career-high 11 receptions last week. The Terrapins rank second in the ACC in total offense. The offensive line has allowed just two sacks in the past four games. However, if the weather is as grim as forecast, Maryland will need to get its running game going. The absence of linebacker Nate Irving (ankle) will hurt N.C. State, which ranks among the nation's worst in total defense. Defensive end Willie Young had two sacks and three tackles for a loss against Florida State.

WHEN THE WOLFPACK HAS THE BALL: Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen expects the Wolfpack to test the Terrapins' secondary early because of the absence of cornerback Kevin Barnes, who is out for the year because of a fractured shoulder blade. Cornerbacks Anthony Wiseman, Nolan Carroll and Jamari McCollough will be called upon for their play and also their leadership. Russell Wilson, who has completed 32 of 58 passes for 399 yards in his past two games, concerns Friedgen because of his scrambling ability. The Wolfpack ranks 114th nationally in rushing offense, but it amassed 157 yards rushing against Florida State. The Terrapins are 4-0 when linebackers Alex Wujciak and/or Dave Philistin reach double digits in tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Maryland's Obi Egekeze has made nine consecutive field goals after missing his first five attempts. Travis Baltz ranks second in the ACC in punting. N.C. State's T.J. Graham averages 27.3 yards per kickoff return. Josh Czajkowski has made 7 of 9 field goal attempts.

COACHES: Friedgen has shown he can motivate his players to play the toughest opponents this season. But will players compete the same way against a team without a national ranking? Second-year Wolfpack Coach Tom O'Brien has seen his team be competitive in recent weeks despite a severely depleted roster.

-- Eric Prisbell


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