Five thoughts heading into today’s Maryland-Rutgers game at Byrd Stadium …
1. Dom Natale will play more at quarterback than Tom Savage for Rutgers. Ah, the complexity of head injuries. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano placed Savage squarely in the “questionable” camp this week. He probably wouldn’t have if he knew for sure Savage would be available. It wouldn’t be remotely surprising if Savage does not play, leaving the offense in the hands of a fifth-year senior who threw three interceptions in the first half of the season opener against Cincinnati.
2. Bruce Campbell will be used a ton. Maryland is going to get as much as possible from the mammoth left tackle, and the thinking here is that coaches don’t make this a gradual re-adjustment to playing. Campbell will immediately be re-immersed in the game, and the Terps will hope his turf toe doesn’t flare up again. If he misses more than three relevant series, it would be a surprise.
3. Da’Rel Scott is in for a bounce-back day. Granted, the junior ran for 117 yards last week, but he also lost two fumbles. Here’s calling for 120 yards, a score and no time spent glued to the bench because of a fumble-itis.
4. Torrey Smith will be Maryland’s career kickoff return yardage leader … by the end of the first quarter. Smith needs nine yards to pass Keeta Covington, so he should be good to go on his first return. It could well happen in the game’s first 10 seconds. Either way, the sophomore will be atop this list by day’s end.
5. Kenny Tate will come up with a sack or an interception —- assuming Jamari McCollough plays. With McCollough expected to return, the Terps can deploy Tate in less orthodox ways —- basically just as defensive coordinator Don Brown envisioned during camp. That might not mean complete domination today after an August of utter unblockability, but Tate has a better chance to make something happen than the last two Saturdays.
—- Patrick Stevens