FACTS & STATS: Site: BB&T Field (31,500) -- Winston Salem, North Carolina. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Maryland 3-0, Wake Forest 2-1. Away Record: Maryland 1-1, Wake Forest 1-2. Neutral Record: Maryland 1-0, Wake Forest 0-0. Conference Record: Maryland 1-1, Wake Forest 1-2. Series: Maryland leads, 43-17-1.
GAME NOTES: The Maryland Terrapins head to BB&T Field on Saturday afternoon to tangle with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.
At 5-1, Maryland is off to its best start since the 2001 squad began that year 7-0. This past weekend, the Terrapins rebounded from a 63-0 loss at Florida State by knocking off Virginia, 27-26. Following Saturday's tilt, they'll return home to host Clemson and Syracuse in the coming weeks.
Saturday's game is Homecoming at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have split their six games on the season and are coming out of a bye week after topping NC State on Oct. 5, 28-13. Head coach Jim Grobe is just one win shy of tying "Peahead" Walker for the school record of 77 career victories.
The Terrapins were a 19-14 winner in last season's meeting with Wake Forest, and they lead the all-time series, 43-17-1.
Terps starting quarterback C.J. Brown sat out the Virginia game with a concussion that he suffered a week earlier against Florida State. Although Brown is considered probable for Saturday's contest, backup Caleb Rowe certainly proved capable in his performance against the Cavaliers. Rowe threw for a career-high 332 yards and capped the fourth-quarter comeback with a 12- yard touchdown pass to Dave Stinebaugh to give Maryland a 27-26 lead with 5:14 to play. The 332 passing yards were more than Brown threw for in any game this season, and it marks the most passing yards by a Terrapins quarterback since Danny O'Brien threw for 348 yards against Miami to open the 2011 season. Running back Brandon Ross chipped in with 169 all-purpose yards to go along with two touchdowns. Maryland has gone over 450 yards of total offense in four of six games.
The Terps did a fine job limiting the damage after their offense turned the ball over against Virginia. In fact, the Cavaliers managed only six points off three takeaways, and they were forced to settle for field goals on four of six trips inside the red zone. Linebacker L.A. Goree was all over the place, collecting a career-high 16 tackles, the most by a Maryland defender since 2011. Defensive back Anthony Nixon followed up his 10-tackle effort against FSU with a career-best 12 stops (nine solo), while fellow DB A.J. Hendy broke up a pair of passes. The Terps allowed 29 first downs and 505 yards of total offense for the game, but they really tightened up in key down and distances in the second half as they held Virginia to 3-of-9 on third down.
Wake Forest enters the weekend ranked 104th nationally in scoring (20.0 ppg) and 112th in total offense (327.0 ypg). Against NC State two weekends ago, quarterback Tanner Price ran for a career-high 82 yards and a touchdown to go along with three touchdowns passing. He finished the day 24-of-39 for 268 yards through the air to lead the Demon Deacons to their sixth straight win over the Wolfpack. He looked early and often to senior flanker Michael Campanaro, who caught 12 passes for 153 yards and two scores, earning ACC Receiver of the Week honors. It was the second time this season Campanaro caught 10 or more passes in a game. The current ACC leader with 8.8 catches per game, he is now 11 receptions away from breaking Desmond Clark's school- record of 216 career receptions.
The Deacs held the Wolfpack to 115 yards on the ground (3.6 ypc), nearly 100 below their season rushing average. NC State scored just one touchdown on the day, and that came in the final minute of the first half. Ryan Janvion led the way with a personal-best 11 tackles, while Mike Olson finished with eight. As a unit, Wake Forest notched four sacks and two interceptions. On the season, Nikita Whitlock has posted 40 tackles, including a team-high 11.5 for loss and 5.0 sacks. He has also forced two fumbles. Merrill Noel and Kevin Johnson have combined for five of the team's eight interceptions.
The Terps did not miss a beat with backup Caleb Rowe at the helm last week. Regardless of who lines up under center in this matchup, expect Maryland to put up plenty of points.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Maryland 42, Wake Forest 22
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