Kickoff: 6 p.m. Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore.
TV/Radio: CSTV; 97.9 FM, 980 AM, 1430 AM.
Last Meeting: Navy 19, Maryland 7 on Nov. 6, 1965.
Last Year: Navy went 10-2 and defeated New Mexico in the Emerald Bowl; Maryland went 5-6 and did not play in a bowl game.
When Navy has the ball: Quarterback Lamar Owens will lead a triple-option attack that features slot backs Marco Nelson and Reggie Campbell, who combined to rush for 155 yards and five touchdowns last year. Fullback Matt Hall, who had 19 carries for 63 yards last year, will make his first start as he takes over for Kyle Eckel, who rushed for a team-high 1,147 yards last year.
Maryland will counter with a defense led by three returning linebackers: William Kershaw, David Holloway and D'Qwell Jackson, who recorded a team-high 123 tackles last season. The Terrapins are hoping nose guard Conrad Bolston, defensive tackle Jack Griffin and defensive end Jeremy Navarre can power through Navy's smaller offensive line. Maryland's secondary -- led by cornerbacks Josh Wilson and Gerrick McPhearson -- will be one of the toughest units that Midshipmen receivers Jason Tomlinson (16 catches, 273 yards) and Mick Yokitis will face this season.
When Maryland has the ball: All eyes will be on quarterback Sam Hollenbach, who won the job in preseason practice from Joel Statham. Statham started 10 games last year but threw 15 interceptions. Hollenbach will look to get the ball to tight end Vernon Davis (27 catches, team-high 441 yards and 3 TDs) and speedy receivers Jo Jo Walker and Derrick Fenner (team-high 35 catches, 2 TDs). The Terrapins' weakness could be their rushing game; it will be led by running back Mario Merrills, who spent three seasons as a reserve before being thrust into the lineup when Josh Allen was lost to season-ending knee surgery.
Navy returns just three starters on defense: end Jeremy Chase (46 tackles, 11 for a loss), outside linebacker David Mahoney (85 tackles, 5 sacks) and Jeremy McGown, who is moving from rover to cornerback. Navy will need its undersized line of nose guard Larry Cylc, John Chan and Chase to put pressure on the unproven Hollenbach. Linebackers Rob Caldwell, Jake Biles, Tyler Tidwell and Mahoney will be asked to stop a Terrapins ground game that averaged just 2.9 yards per carry last season. Its weakness could be an inexperienced secondary, as first-year starting safeties Keenan Little and DuJuan Price, as well as cornerbacks Greg Thrasher and McGown, debut against one of the best receiving corps they'll play this season.