The Washington Times - September 5, 2008, 05:44PM

There aren’t many numbers to work with – just one game’s worth.

Still, combine that with last year’s numbers and you might just be able to tell a little bit about an early-season game.

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So here’s a new Friday feature: The stats matchup.

Maryland run offense vs. Middle Tennessee run defense

This season: Maryland has 271 ypg (12th nationally); Middle Tennessee yields 164 ypg (74th nationally)

2007: Maryland ran for 137.5 ypg  (75th nationally); Middle Tennesse yielded 199.8 ypg (102nd nationally)

Advantage: Maryland

Maryland pass offense vs. Middle Tennessee pass defense

This season: Maryland throws for 126 ypg (88th nationally); Middle Tennessee yields 136 ypg (31st nationally)

2007: Maryland threw for 203.4 ypg (77th nationally); Middle Tennessee yielded 215.3 ypg (40th nationally)

Advantage: Middle Tennessee, though Maryland could easily prove otherwise and might not even need to

Middle Tennessee run offense vs. Maryland run defense

This season: Middle Tennessee runs for 81 ypg (T-81st nationally); Maryland yields 121 ypg (55th nationally)

2007: Middle Tennessee ran for 134.7 ypg (81st nationally); Maryland yielded 147.3 ypg (53rd nationally)

Advantage: Maryland, given the difference in schedule

Middle Tennessee pass offense vs. Maryland pass defense

This season: Middle Tennessee averages 200 ypg (57th nationally); Maryland yields 128 ypg (26th nationally)

2007: Middle Tennessee threw for 202.1 ypg (82nd nationally); Maryland yielded 210.7 ypg (33rd nationally)

Advantage: Maryland

OVERALL ANALYSIS: Maryland is without question the deeper, more talented team, but it is headed to a potential snakepit. The struggles of the offense to finish off drives once it crossed the 30 in the opener would make anyone reticent to call a blowout under these conditions.

Theoretically, the Terps should wear down the Blue Raiders with a potent running game. If Davin Meggett and Morgan Green both can get some carries, it will allow Da’Rel Scott to be even more punishing than he was against Delaware.

The official fearless forecast is Maryland 24-10, but this could get even uglier if the Terps can be a bit different than their usual selves and jump out to a good start.

Patrick Stevens