Maryland at Wake Forest
End Game: Maryland's disappointing start mostly can be traced to its fourth-quarter defensive breakdowns. Three straight weeks, the Terps have allowed fourth-quarter touchdown drives of at least 70 yards. Maryland is yielding an average of 97 rushing yards in the fourth quarter alone; disregard the rest of the game, and the Terps would still rank eighth in the ACC in rushing defense. "If we win the fourth quarter the last two weeks, we're sitting here 3-0 and then you guys aren't talking to me about how bad our defense is," defensive coordinator Gary Blackney said. The Demon Deacons also have struggled late; they've outscored opponents in the first half but have been outscored 52-27 in the second.
Take-aways: These defenses share something else: an inability to create turnovers. Both have forced two through three games, less than any other ACC team that has played three times. And even that number hardly does justice to Maryland's defensive failings; one of its forced turnovers was on a last-second Hail Mary, and the other came on a kickoff return.
Offensive Stars: Tight end Vernon Davis, suddenly Maryland's top playmaker, is the first Terp to have more than 100 yards receiving in back-to-back games since Jermaine Lewis in 1995. Tulsa's Garrett Mills is the only tight end in the country with more receiving yards than Davis's 324. On the other side, Wake Forest sophomore Micah Andrews is fourth in the country in rushing (153 ypg), while senior backfield mate Chris Barclay has gained 270 yards despite being suspended for the team's first game.
-- Dan Steinberg