The Washington Times - October 17, 2009, 11:40AM

Forgot this little feature last week.

Not so much this time around.


Anyway, here’s five predictions for this afternoon’s Maryland-Virginia game at Byrd Stadium.

1. There will be fumbles —- at least four of them. Hello, rain. Here’s guessing you make your presence felt throughout the day with the slippery sod and a slick ball leading to a messy, messy game.

2. There will be sacks —- at least seven of them. Neither Maryland nor Virginia is especially proficient at protecting quarterbacks. With Al Groh‘s 3-4 scheme giving Maryland a different look and Don Brown‘s defense due for a bit of a bounceback, both Chris Turner and Jameel Sewell could be under fire today.

3. Torrey Smith will surpass Darrius Heyward-Bey’s production from last year. Yes, the weather is lousy. But Smith needs only 90 yards to match DHB’s output of 609 receiving yards from last season. It won’t be easy, but here’s guessing he’ll be aided by one long play and a whole bunch of shorter ones.

4. Maryland will be held to less than 100 yards for the fourth straight game. The Cavaliers’ run defense has improved in recent weeks, while the Terps ground game seems to be on the road to nowhere. That sort of skid isn’t quite as rare as you’d think for the Terps; it happened in four straight games in 2007, and six in a row in 2004.

5. Both teams lead at some point in the fourth quarter. This sort of ugly day doesn’t lend itself to high scoring or a blowout, though turnovers have a way of changing that. The guess here is it will be a struggle to gain traction on offense, and neither team will accomplish a whole lot until they have to toward the end of the game. The midweek prediction was 27-21 Virginia, but the weather could easily turn it into a 17-13ish or 14-10ish near-stalemate.

—- Patrick Stevens