The Washington Times - October 17, 2008, 10:57AM

Two things stand out about Wake Forest’s list of rankings among the nation’s 119 major college programs.

The Demon Deacons don’t run the ball nearly as well as the last couple years. And they defend the pass with exceptional skill.

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That would seem to bode well for the Maryland rush defense (which has had its moments, good and bad) and bad for Terps quarterback Chris Turner.

Take a look for yourself at these numbers:

* Maryland rushing offense vs. Wake Forest rushing defense. The Terps average 165.2 yards rushing, 44th in the country. The Demon Deacons yield 123.2 yards rushing, 48th in the country.

That’s a reasonably even matchup, but Maryland direly needs its offensive line to play better. The running game has produced diminishing returns after an impressive start, and the only way the Terps can open up the pass against Wake will be to force the Demon Deacons to honor the run. Maryland could really use a 100-yard day from Da’Rel Scott.

* Maryland passing offense vs. Wake Forest passing defense. The Terps average 190.5 yards passing, 88th in the country. The Demon Deacons yield 151.0 yards passing, sixth in the country.

Ralph Friedgen joked about how Wake’s defensive players – many in the secondary – seem to have been around since he took over at Maryland. They are undeniably good, and could lead to a third straight silent day for Darrius Heyward-Bey. This could be a day when dink-and-dunk is actually a good thing.

* Wake Forest rushing offense vs. Maryland rushing defense. The Demon Deacons average 99.0 yards, 110th in the country. The Terps yield 145.0 yards, 71st in the country.

Anyone who remembers Wake’s evisceration of Maryland two years ago at Byrd Stadium probably finds it tough to believe that defending the run could be one of the Terps’ assets in this game. But given Wake’s history this season, this might not be as difficult a task as in the past.

That said, if Josh Adams rolls up 150 yards, it’s safe to say some of the boos that will be heard at Byrd will be directed at defensive coordinator Chris Cosh.

* Wake Forest passing offense vs. Maryland pass defense. The Demon Deacons average 242.0 yards a game, 45th in the country. The Terps yield 249.0 yards, 95th in the country.

This sounds about right. Look for Riley Skinner to roll up somewhere between 200 and 260 yards passing, since that’s how the Demon Deacons move the ball most effectively this season. If it’s much more, then the Terps’ secondary will again face some questions. If it’s less, then either Wake’s running game will be especially effective or Maryland can know its defensive backs have made some progress since the first few games.

Other top-20 national rankings: Maryland – Net punting (11th, 38.88); Wake Forest – Pass efficiency defense (1st, 90.52), total defense (17th, 274.2), scoring defense (16th, 15.0), turnover margin (7th, +1.40).

Patrick Stevens