Maryland vs. North Carolina State
Time: 3:30 p.m., Byrd Stadium.
Radio: WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), WTEM (980 AM).
Records: Terrapins 7-4, 4-3 ACC; Wolfpack 8-3, 5-2.
Plenty of motivation
Maryland has yet to come out flat this season, so it is unlikely the Terrapins will emotionally flatline in the final home game for 16 seniors. Still, Coach Ralph Friedgen is motivating his team by promising that if it wins he will "fight like hell to get them in a good bowl game." N.C. State has more to play for: A win gives the Wolfpack the ACC's Atlantic Division title. After last week's loss to Florida State, the Seminoles wished Maryland luck against the Wolfpack. Friedgen said that "irritated" his team because it wants to win for Maryland, not for Florida State.
Rooting for Duke
Maryland fans would gladly endure root canals and rush-hour Beltway traffic before openly rooting for Duke. But if Terrapins fans want their team to reach the most prestigious bowl game possible, they need to do the unthinkable. The most likely bowl destination for Maryland is right in its own back yard: RFK Stadium in the Dec. 29 Military Bowl. But if Duke beats North Carolina and Maryland beats N.C. State, the Terrapins are at least guaranteed to be selected ahead of the Tar Heels because a team with a two-game lead in the ACC standings on another has to be selected first. That would give Maryland at least an outside chance to land in the Music City Bowl in Nashville.
A depleted line
Maryland lost two starting tackles (Justin Gilbert - knee; Pete DeSouza - fractured legs) to season-ending injuries. Then against Florida State, right guard Justin Lewis (knee) and center Bennett Fulper (hand) left the game in the first half; Lewis did not return and is doubtful to play Saturday. Fulper should play. And freshman Max Garcia, who was expected to redshirt, also left the game with a lower extremity injury but is expected to play Saturday.
- Eric Prisbell