Boston College at Maryland
Outranked: Boston College, ranked 23rd in the latest Associated Press poll, will be Maryland's third ranked opponent in four games. The Terps are 1-3 against ranked teams this year after going 1-3 against such teams a year ago. They are 8-4 against unranked teams over those two seasons. Perhaps those numbers were responsible for Coach Ralph Friedgen's verve this week; he even made the team's student managers run wind sprints after Thursday's practice.
Bowlarama: Both teams could realistically play in either the Peach Bowl in Atlanta or the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise, Idaho, depending on today's result and a host of other variables. The Terps would miss the postseason entirely if they don't get one more win. They also are in danger of failing to win at least two home games in a season for the first time since 1997. "People are starting to jump off the bandwagon," cornerback Josh Wilson said. "We need to tell 'em that it's not over yet, that we're not going down easy." Scouts from the Peach Bowl and the Champs Sports Bowl will be at today's game.
Still Kicking: After Maryland junior Dan Ennis missed two field goal attempts and an extra point last week, Friedgen pledged to reopen the kicking competition. That competition all but ended Monday evening, when Ennis outperformed Obi Egekeze in a head-to-head showdown. But on Thursday afternoon, Ennis missed a 20-yard attempt in practice, prompting a torrent of colorful -- if unprintable -- advice from Friedgen. "Tender loving care," the coach later explained. "Sometimes those guys, you can baby them too much. They need to just kick the darn ball. It's not like they're bleeding or anything." Eagles kicker William Troost (Georgetown Prep) replaced Ryan Ohliger midway through the season, and has attempted just three field goals. His longest successful kick was from 26 yards.
-- Dan Steinberg