- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ask Maryland wide receiver Danny Melendez to break down an opponent’s defense and he will provide a detailed explanation.

Securing an analysis of where the Terrapins (5-4, 3-3 ACC) could wind up in the ACC’s postseason pecking order from the senior isn’t quite so easy.

“That thing is like linear algebra,” said Melendez, whose team would become bowl eligible with a victory over Boston College (7-3, 4-3) on Saturday at Byrd Stadium. “I have no idea how these things go. It’s so difficult trying to figure it out. I have no idea how it’s going to map out. I just know we have to win this game and then go on from there, and hopefully we’ll be sitting where we want to be.”

The ACC’s bowl situation — six tie-ins for as many as 10 eligible teams — makes the situation even more difficult to forecast. Seven teams already are eligible, and Maryland must split its final two games to make it eight. Both North Carolina and N.C. State must win their final two games to become postseason eligible.

Two bowls have at-large berths — the Liberty and Poinsettia Bowls — and other bowl openings could open up if a league doesn’t fill its quota. That already has happened in the SEC, where no more than seven teams will be eligible for the conference’s eight bowl slots.

Virginia Tech could be selected for an at-large BCS berth if it wins out, opening an extra spot for another ACC team.

“I think there are some bowls where you can get some at-large bids, and I think our league is working very hard to secure them,” Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. “I think the major worry is to get to six wins.”

Assuming the Terps win at least once more, it appears several bowls could be interested in inviting them. Peach Bowl president Gary Stokan said yesterday his Atlanta-based game, which has the second selection after the ACC’s BCS teams are chosen, would consider a 7-4 Maryland team for its slot opposite an SEC team. Orlando’s Champs Sports Bowl, Charlotte’s Meineke Car Care Bowl and Boise’s MPC Computers Bowl have the next three selections.

Both the Peach Bowl and the Champs Sports Bowl, which pits an ACC team against the No. 6 selection from the Big 12, will scout the Terps on Saturday.

Wilson on the mend

Cornerback Josh Wilson is expected to return to practice today after suffering a concussion in Saturday’s 33-30 overtime victory at North Carolina, and Friedgen is optimistic he will be ready for Boston College.

Wilson was in good spirits yesterday and recounted how he took a test measuring his memory and response time a day after being carted off the Kenan Stadium field and taken to an area hospital.

“I guess when I took it before [the season] I got an 86. I took it after I got a concussion on Sunday and I ended up getting a 92 or 96,” Wilson said. “I ended up doing better after I got a concussion. My mom was like, ‘Maybe it knocked some things into place.’ ”

Wilson can joke about it now, although it’s an experience he won’t forget soon. Wilson said both he and safety Milton Harris — who suffered his own concussion Oct. 29 at Florida State — are still wearing their hospital bands as a reminder to “not take anything for granted. This could be your last play.”

“You don’t want to have something like that happen to you,” Wilson said. “Laying on the ground and you can’t move — even when you wake up, I felt like I couldn’t move anything. That’s probably the scariest thing you could feel. It’s like having sight and going blind. You don’t want to lose that.”

Fenner still hampered

Wide receiver Derrick Fenner, who still is nursing a pulled left hamstring first suffered at Florida State, wore a noncontact jersey at practice yesterday.

“I’ve been pushing it through,” Fenner said. “I’m taking pills, running on it, wrapping it up and just going to treatment two hours a day.”

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