The Maryland Terrapins travel to Tallahassee for the last time in ACC play on Saturday in a high noon, top-25 showdown. Both teams come into the game undefeated at 4-0 and look to take advantage of a win over a ranked conference opponent. Florida State fans looked early to their football team to easily rack up the wins on its way to Death Valley on October 19th. But so far, Maryland has done a great job shocking the nation in fairing better than expected and look to be an earlier-than-planned hurdle for the ‘Noles.
As the Terps come off a bye-week they look to utilize their spread offense to attack FSU’s defense that had a less-than-stellar performance at Boston College. Though neither team has yet faced an opponent that has truly tested them, Maryland hasn’t scored under 30 points in a single game. Their underrated, senior QB CJ Brown is a dual-threat, that has only thrown one interception and is the teams second leading rusher. He will look to complete explosive connections with wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long in an attempt to take advantage of a Seminole defense that stouts 26 tackles for loss and 9 sacks coming into week 5. If Florida State’s defense can remain disciplined against the creative and risk-taking plays UMD will likely show, they will make it a long game for the Terps offense.
The ‘Noles are bigger and stronger on both sides of the ball. They will look to penetrate the run against Maryland’s 3-4 defense that is pretty sizeable upfront. While the Terrapins will likely bring a lot of pressure, like most teams, FSU will look to exploit the loss of Maryland’s 1 and 2 corners (both out of commission until at least late October) with its experienced and deep wide receiver rotation. This will be the toughest defense Florida State has seen yet. But, if the ‘Noles veteran offensive line can dominate and the pass game forces UMD to open up from their 3-4, FSU always has the weapons to take advantage through the run.
Ultimately, both the Seminoles and the Terrapins are facing the toughest team they’ve played at this point on their schedules. But, the noon face-off will lead to an early win at home for Florida State. Prediction: FSU 40, MD 17.