COLLEGE PARK -- "One thing I'm certain of about the Duk team that plays us here Saturday," said Maryland football coach Joe Krivak. "They'll be well-rested."
Indeed. The Blue Devils, through a schedule quirk, haven'played the last two weeks. Counting the present week of practice, they've had three weeks to get ready for Maryland.
That's in marked contrast to Maryland. The Terps in the lasthree weeks have lost to Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech and edged Wake Forest, 23-22.
And while Duke has used the layoff to heal its injured, Maryland'disabled list has grown.
"Everybody has injuries by this point in the season, but we'vhad an abnormal amount of them," Krivak said.
"This is the worst year we've had for injuries. I don't think we'vever had two broken legs and three starters out for the season," he said, referring to running back Mark Mason, offensive tackle Steve Ingram and cornerback Scott Rosen.
"In fact, if they hold up through practices this week, Saturday wilbe the first time this year we've been able to start the same offensive line two games in a row."
Will all this work in favor of Duke (3-1-1) against the Terps (2-4) ithe homecoming game at Byrd Stadium?
"Sometimes a layoff can work against you," Krivak said. "You calose your touch or your timing a little bit. We won't know until we play."
One consequence of the multiple injuries to Maryland runninbacks is that true freshmen Raphael Wall, from Wilde Lake, and Larry Washington, from Randallstown, are seeing more action.
"Their workload has been doubled," Krivak said. "Ideally you likto redshirt freshmen like these two, but when injuries hit you have to play them.
"Wall is finally healthy. He had a groin and then a knee and thean ankle. Wall has the acceleration of a Mark Mason but he doesn't have Mason's vision. Mason can see things other people can't and he has the ability to make the cuts.
"Larry Washington has some acceleration but he's a powerunner. He broke one for 14 yards last week at Wake Forest and gave us a little lift."
Duke is not the only team in this game with an odd scheduleMaryland hasn't had a home game since Sept. 21 with West Virginia -- and this will be the Terps' final game at Byrd Stadium this year. Maryland will play Penn State at Memorial Stadium Nov. 9.
Coach Barry Wilson's Duke team is led offensively by senioquarterback Dave Brown. The 6-foot-5 Brown has completed more than 54 percent of his passes.
"Duke can run and pass the football and they run the draw 1different ways," Krivak said. "They spread the field offensively, as they've done since Steve Spurrier coached there.
"They can throw vertically very, very well. We've got to takBrown out of his rhythm, make him throw the ball where he doesn't want to."
Duke has nine returning starters in its defensive lineup.
"Their secondary," reminds Krivak, "is exactly the same grouthat played when Duke came here two years ago and beat us [46-25]," Krivak said.
Before that Duke hadn't beaten Maryland since 1972, a historicafact that impresses Krivak not at all.
"The Atlanta Braves finished in last place a year ago," he says
"That had no bearing on this year."