Scouting report

December 28, 2007|By DON MARKUS

Emerald Bowl: Maryland (6-6) vs. Oregon State (8-4)

When: Tonight, 8:30

Site: AT&T Park, San Francisco

TV, Radio: ESPN, 105.7 FM, 1300 AM

Line: Oregon State by 5

When Maryland has the ball

Given Oregon State's vaunted rushing defense, which finished second nationally (74.9 yards a game), the Terps are going to have to put the game in Chris Turner's hands. The redshirt sophomore threw for a career-high 337 yards and three touchdowns against Boston College on Nov. 10 and might need that kind of performance for the Terps to win. Expect the Terps to utilize H-back Jason Goode and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey as their playmakers. If the Terps can get the Beavers back on their heels, then they will be able to pound the ball on the ground with Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore.

When Oregon State has the ball

The return of leading rusher Yvenson Bernard, who missed the regular-season finale against Oregon with an injury, could present problems for the Terps. Not that the Beavers missed Bernard in that game, with Matt Sieverson rushing for 145 yards on 27 carries. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Lyle Moevao started and won the past three games but is prone to mistakes. The Beavers like to spread things around in their passing game, with four players having at least 30 receptions.

Special teams

This marks the last game at Maryland for special teams coach Ray Rychleski, who is leaving to go to South Carolina, so the Terps should be fired up on kickoffs and punts. Da'Rel Scott has emerged as the most dangerous kickoff returner. Obi Egekeze is 17 of 22 on field-goal attempts, with a 46-yarder his longest. Oregon State's Alexis Serna has a stronger leg, having kicked a couple more than 50 yards, but is a little less consistent.

Coaches

Ralph Friedgen has a penchant for putting together pretty good game plans. This will mark Friedgen's last game - at least for now - as the team's offensive coordinator as well. Oregon State's Mike Riley has never lost a bowl game as a head coach (3-0) or during his tenure as Southern California's offensive coordinator (3-0).

Keys for Maryland

Not making early turnovers: Despite finishing sixth in the Pacific-10 in pass defense, the Beavers led the league with 20 interceptions. Giving Oregon State any type of short field could prove disastrous.

Protecting Turner: The offensive line is healthier than it has been all season, but Jaimie Thomas is still a little banged up. If Thomas or Andrew Crummey have trouble staying in the game, so will Maryland.

Stopping the run: Friedgen expects to have problems running against Oregon State. But the Terps have to be able to slow the Beavers' rushing, something Maryland has had problems with.

Weather concerns: The forecast for tonight calls for periods of rain. The Beavers are certainly more used to playing in that kind of sloppy condition than the Terps.

Going out with a bang: Several Terps will be playing their last college game and could help their draft status with a big performance in front of a number of pro scouts. This could be a make-or-break game for junior linebacker Erin Henderson.

Prediction

Oregon State's run defense should neutralize Lattimore and Ball, and its pass defense could create havoc for Turner. Oregon State, 24-10

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.