Before postseason play, one final ACC regular-season game for Terps football

Maryland faces North Carolina State on Saturday as bowl-game uncertainty swirls

November 26, 2013|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK In their few free moments, Maryland players might be tempted to glance at the Atlantic Coast Conference's bowl-game scenarios, trying to narrow down where they might find themselves playing in the postseason.

"Some people have [done it], just seeing where you could go," linebacker Matt Robinson (Atholton) said Tuesday. "That's always exciting."

But since bowl invitations are out of his control, the redshirt junior would prefer to focus on trying to win at North Carolina State on Saturday, and leave postseason predictions to the pundits.

"Winning will take care of that," Robinson said. "Anything that happens in the later weeks, that'll all be taken care of as long as we win."

There are more bowl-eligible teams from the ACC (10) than bowl games with tie-ins to the conference (eight). That means that Maryland (6-5, 2-5 ACC), if it loses to the Wolfpack (3-8, 0-7), could end up playing as an at-large entry in a bowl game that is not tied to the ACC.

There is no guarantee that the Terps make the postseason, although it would be unlikely for a bowl-eligible team from a major conference to be bypassed.

Maryland became bowl-eligible after its sixth win, an overtime upset of Virginia Tech on Nov. 16.

"If we go out there and get No. 7, that will definitely help our chances," quarterback C.J. Brown said Tuesday. "That's all we can focus on right now. We need to go out there and make a stand and just build on our portfolio as a team."

Maryland coach Randy Edsall told his players after the Virginia Tech game that they needed to keep accumulating wins to be assured of a game after Saturday.

"The kids know it. You don't have to remind them of those things," Edsall said Tuesday.

Representatives from the Military Bowl and AdvoCare V100 Bowl scouted last Saturday's game, a 29-26 loss to Boston College.

Saturday's contest is the last in the ACC for Maryland, which is leaving to join the Big Ten Conference next year.

"I wrote it down, that it's the last game in the ACC for them," N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. "I don't know how big of a deal that will be to their team. But I do know about the series and how far it goes back."

The teams have met 69 times in a series dating to 1909. N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow formerly held the same position at Maryland.

Yow "has a lot of history there, too," Doeren said. "I know that's important. But for us, it's Senior Day, and that's really all that I'm focused on."

Note: Maryland linebacker Cole Farrand (shoulder) is hopeful he can return Saturday after missing the Boston College game. He is the team's leading tackler.

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