Before this week’s Maryland predictions, a rewind of last Saturday’s. …
Shawn Petty WAS sacked at least four times (five, actually); Cole Farrand DID NOT have a double-digit tackle day (he had eight); Maryland WAS NOT held to single digits in points thanks to a last-minute touchdowns; Florida State WAS NOT held to less than 40 points (it got to 41); and Florida State DID win.
So what’s on tap for today? Given the 58.2 percent accuracy of the game-day predictions on the season, probably only three of these five outcomes.
1. Maryland will not finish the season with a 400-yard rusher for the first time since 1965. Since Wes Brown (382 yards) is done for the season after undergoing left shoulder surgery, this is essentially a bet that Brandon Ross won’t run for 151 yards. North Carolina possesses the No. 3 rushing defense in the ACC, so it could be a tough slog on the ground for the limited Terps.
2. North Carolina will try a two-point conversion. The Tar Heels have done so on six occasions, including five times in the last five games. They don’t do it when they need to so much as when they want to. Look for it at least once against Maryland.
3. Giovanni Bernard will visit the end zone twice for the Tar Heels. Without a bowl bid, maybe the best thing North Carolina has to play for is a shot at getting Bernard an ACC player of the year award. It won’t be easy (especially with Clemson QB Tajh Boyd slinging it around like he has in recent weeks), but there will probably be an effort to give Bernard some opportunities.
4. Maryland will score in the fourth quarter. The Terps’ penchant for late touchdowns could surface again in Chapel Hill. Maryland scored in the last minute of losses to both Georgia Tech and Florida State this month.
5. North Carolina will win. It’s tough to go with any other outcome at this point. Look for the Terps to be their feisty selves, and the Tar Heels to bottle up Maryland’s offense more than enough to win comfortably.
FLORIDA STATE: 2-for-5
—- Patrick Stevens