vs. Wake Forest
3:30 p.m., Byrd Stadium, College Park. TV: ESPNU. Radio: WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), WTEM (980 AM). Records: Terrapins 5-2, 2-1 ACC; Demon Deacons 2-5, 1-3.
DEACONS' YOUTH MOVEMENT
Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen said he looks at Wake Forest and sees some reminders of his team last season: youth all over the field. The Demon Deacons start true freshman Tanner Price at quarterback and redshirt freshman Josh Harris, who rushed for 241 yards on 20 carries two weeks ago against Virginia Tech, at tailback. Wake Forest Coach Jim Grobe said he could start five freshmen Saturday on a defense that has struggled mightily against mostly stout competition – Stanford, Virginia Tech and Florida State. He will start two true freshman at cornerback.
ARE TERPS FOR REAL?
A win would lift Maryland's overall record to 6-2, keep the Terrapins in the ACC's Atlantic Division race and make them bowl eligible before Halloween. Are these rebuilding Terps really this good? The jury is still out. They have beaten just one team (Navy) with a winning record, and should they win Saturday, would have three conference wins against arguably the ACC's three worst teams. Maryland also has been outgained in every win against a division I-A team. Doesn't matter. Some Maryland players remember the lukewarm expectations many outsiders had for this team, and they are eager to triple their win total from 2009.
MUCH IS AT STAKE
After last Saturday's win at Boston College, Friedgen said his team remained "young and fragile." How they will handle snapping the 10-game road losing streak will be something to watch as Saturday's game unfolds. Friedgen said Wednesday that he would have liked to have seen more passion from his players throughout the week considering what will be on the line. The Terrapins have yet to come out flat this season, and Saturday's homecoming environment will have the trappings of a big game with a lot at stake. Maryland can't afford to get overconfident because should it lose, it may not be favored in another game this season.
-- Eric Prisbell