Five thoughts for tonight’s Maryland-James Madison tussle at Byrd Stadium. …
1. Da’Rel Scott runs for 100+ yards. One thing that was overlooked last weekend was that despite the offensive line issues, Scott still had a solid night: 13 carries, 90 yards and a touchdown. Take out the long touchdown run, and he still averaged more than four yards a carry against an imposing defensive front. He’ll have a better outing tonight —- and so too could Davin Meggett and Gary Douglas.
2. Chris Turner throws his first TD pass of the season. Here’s a truly quirky stat for Maryland —- in its last three home openers (William & Mary ‘06, Villanova ‘07 and Delaware ‘08), its quarterbacks are a combined 43-for-66 for 486 yards, no touchdowns and five interceptions. Here’s guessing Turner gets the time to hook up with either Adrian Cannon or Torrey Smith on a score at least once tonight.
3. Maryland will force its first turnover of the season. If not, defensive coordinator Don Brown probably won’t be too happy.
4. James Madison will amass more sacks than Maryland. This really isn’t going out on a limb. The Dukes yielded 11 sacks last season, and with a run-oriented system that relies on their quarterbacks to run, it’s unlikely Maryland will have the chance to cause much backfield damage. Meanwhile, the Dukes’ defensive line is a strength —- and they’re going against a Terrapin offensive line that is an obvious weakness.
5. Someone’s scoring a special teams touchdown. OK, this is somewhat bold. But between James Madison’s Scotty McGee and Maryland’s Torrey Smith, each team has a guy who will hold the school record in kickoff return yards by midseason.
JAMES MADISON KR YARDS LIST
1. Delvin Joyce, 1997-2000, 1,902
2. Scotty McGee, 2006-present, 1,526
MARYLAND KR YARDS LIST
1. Keeta Covington, 1983-86, 1,520
2. Larry Marshall, 1969-71, 1,507
3. Torrey Smith, 2008-present, 1,276
McGee’s career average is 30.5 yards a return. Both he and Smith should be fun to watch tonight.
—- Patrick Stevens