CLEMSON, S.C. —- Greetings from Death Valley, where Maryland faces, well, a substantial challenge in No. 10 Clemson in less than an hour.
Maryland will be without its leading rusher, leading passer, leading receiver and leading tackler because of injury. In short, it’s in an exceptionally tough spot.
But there’s still 60 minutes to play anyway. And here’s five things to look for:
1. Clemson will have a 100-yard receiver. Either Sammy Watkins or DeAndre Hopkins should hit that plateau for the Tigers, who have had little trouble throwing the ball throughout the season.
2. Maryland will throw for less than 100 yards. With Stefon Diggs, Marcus Leak and Kerry Boykins all out, the number of guys for the Terrapins to throw to has diminished substantially. It’s hard to imagine Maryland getting much traction through the air.
3. Brandon Ross will lead Maryland in carries. He’s the most likely candidate, followed by quarterback Shawn Petty. Either way, there will be plenty of rushing attempts to go around
4. Clemson will not score 50 points. Despite a potent offense, the Tigers will not hang half-a-hundred for the second straight week. Expect Maryland’s defense to hold up, at least for a while.
5. Clemson will win. And probably quite handily. It’s just difficult to envision Maryland scoring enough points to keep up with the Tigers, who have scored at least 26 points in every game this year and managed at least 37 points in every game after the season opener.
—- Patrick Stevens