Clemson presents stiff test for UM

Best ACC rushers face Terps defense ranked 100th vs. run

November 04, 2006|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun Reporter

The thank-yous have come as frequently as the first downs, and it's not uncommon this season to see Clemson's young running backs giving their offensive linemen a friendly tap on the helmet or even a hug on the sideline.

After all, somebody has to pave the way for the No. 1 rushing offense in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Maryland @Clemson Today, noon, ESPN2, 1300 AM, 105.7 FM Line: Clemson by 20

Today's game

Matchup -- Maryland (6-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) at No. 19 Clemson (7-2, 4-2)

Time -- Noon

TV/Radio -- ESPN2/105.7 FM,1300 AM

Line -- Clemson by 20

Series -- Clemson leads 29-23-2

Last meeting -- Clemson, 28, Maryland 24; College Park, Sept. 10, 2005

Maryland offense vs. Clemson defense -- The Terps have relied on their running game, but Clemson is holding its opponents to 88.9 yards per game and is likely to force quarterback Sam Hollenbach to throw more. The Terps will have to be wary of defensive end Gaines Adams, who was named Defensive Lineman of the Week last year for his eight tackles and 2.5 sacks against Maryland. He leads the ACC and is among the top 10 in the nation with 9.5 sacks. One of the few statistics working in the Terps' favor is Clemson's kickoff coverage, which is the worst in the ACC, while Maryland senior Josh Wilson is second in the league in kickoff returns with an average of 30.5 yards.

Maryland defense vs. Clemson offense -- The Tigers have outscored their opponents 188-20 in Death Valley this season, and will not leave campus for the remainder of the regular season. Quarterback Will Proctor was flustered in a recent 24-7 loss at Virginia Tech, where he completed just 11 of 28 passes, but he is still Clemson's career leader in passing efficiency with 136.8. Maryland linebacker Wesley Jefferson is No. 3 in the ACC with 8.9 tackles per game, but as a whole the Terps have one of the worst defenses in the league. The special teams unit has blocked three kicks this season, though.

Heather A. Dinich

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