Reviewing the predictions from Maryland’s 56-45 loss to Clemson …
1. Both Danny O’Brien and C.J. Brown will play for Maryland.
INCORRECT. It was all Brown, the entire time. And he played well, setting a Maryland quarterback record with 162 yards rushing while throwing for three touchdowns. O’Brien, meanwhile, sat out for the first time since his redshirt year (recall he made brief cameos against Navy and West Virginia last season) and had his starts streak snapped at 15 games. It also marked the seventh time in eight years Maryland used multiple starting quarterbacks in a season.
2. Whoever the quarterback is will make Andre Branch’s acquaintance before the night is over.
CORRECT. It took until Maryland’s final possession, but Branch brought down Brown for a sack. The impressive Clemson defensive end finished with four tackles and two tackles for loss, though a game filled with a quarterback taking off on zone reads limited his effectiveness compared to, say, a team relying on a pocket passer.
3. Sammy Watkins will get 140 yards and/or a touchdown.
CORRECT. Try three touchdowns (two receiving). The freshman was, in short, the difference in the game. There was little Maryland could do to stop Watkins from hauling in a pair of touchdown receptions in the second half, and his kickoff return for a score gave Clemson the lead for good.
4. Maryland will score an offensive touchdown in the first half.
CORRECT. The Terps doubled their season total of pre-halftime offensive touchdowns, cashing in three scores (two Davin Meggett scoring runs and one Brown touchdown scamper) to complement Cameron Chism‘s interception return for a score.
5. Maryland will fall to 2-4 overall and 0-3 against ranked teams.
CORRECT. No one saw a 56-45 game coming. But the prediction that “something in the 10-to-14-point range for final margin seems about right” sure looked good in the end. Maryland has defeated a ranked team in nine of the last 10 years, but realistically might have only one more opportunity against a team in the top 25 this season (Notre Dame).
CLEMSON RECORD: 4-for-5
SEASON RECORD: 20-for-30
—- Patrick Stevens