ATLANTA -- The University of Maryland will try to remain unbeaten in the Atlantic Coast Conference today when the Terps meet Georgia Tech at 12:10 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.
The Terps (1-3 overall, 1-0 ACC) begin the first of a three-game conference stretch today, followed by a road game against Wake Forest and then Duke at Byrd Stadium, Maryland's homecoming game.
Maryland isn't in a position to overlook any team, especially Georgia Tech (2-3, 1-2), the co-defending national champion along with Colorado. Two of the Yellow Jackets' losses have come against Clemson and No. 16 North Carolina State by a combined nine points.
"We can't afford to play without emotion or intensity," said Maryland coach Joe Krivak. "We're not that type of team, as far as pure talent where we can be lackadaisical and still whip somebody. I don't think I have to motivate the players this week. These players are intelligent and astute."
They also know the ACC race is still wide-open.
"We're very aware that we're still in the conference race," said Mike Jarmolowich, a senior inside linebacker for Maryland. "That was one of our goals in the beginning of the season. We can still lTC salvage something out of the season besides playing for pride."
Georgia Tech's season has been just as frustrating as Maryland's. The Yellow Jackets returned eight defensive and seven offensive starters, including All-America quarterback candidate Shawn Jones, from last year's 11-0-1 team.
But injuries, turnovers and the lack of big plays have toppled Georgia Tech from the national rankings.
"I think we're out of the conference race," said Bobby Ross, Georgia Tech's coach who led Maryland from 1982 until 1986. "What we have to do is go back and get some self-respect."
In some respects, Maryland and Georgia Tech are similar. Georgia Tech has lost nine of 13 fumbles and recovered six of 12 from the opposition. Jones has thrown nine interceptions, second most in the conference. The Yellow Jackets have been penalized 34 times for 263 yards.
Maryland, however, has lost only two of five fumbles and recovered eight of 13, but the Terps have been penalized 22 times for 207 yards and thrown eight interceptions.
This game could come down to turnovers and field position.
"Our biggest problem is that we make too many mistakes, enough so that it doesn't give us an opportunity to win when we play a good football team," Krivak said. "Those are the kind of things we've got to get corrected, because we have some limitations in some areas."