Pregame notes: Clemson defense faces favorable matchup in short-handed Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.
Clemson and Maryland have faced off every year since 1952, but they’ll bid adieu to one another after today’s afternoon contest at Byrd Stadium with the Terrapins on their way to the Big Ten.
It is a sunny, bright and blustery day in College Park, which could play into the passing games. Tajh Boyd is looking to bounce back from one of the worst performances of his career against Florida State, and he’ll oppose Maryland second-stringer Caleb Rowe, who is in for the injured C.J. Brown.
In all, 21 Terps have been ruled out for Saturday’s game, including the starting quarterback, running back, tight end and two wide receivers.
The Terrapins spent a brief stay in the top 25 thanks to throttling West Virginia 37-0 on Sept. 21, helped by six Mountaineers turnovers. That’s something Clemson will look to clean up from its previous three games, in which it’s thrown four interceptions and fumbled away four times (six of those charged to Boyd.)
Brown’s absence could be critical to Maryland’s upset bid; with him at the helm, the Terrapins have improved their total offense more than 150 yards since 2012, and rank in the top ten nationally with 15.0 yards per catch. This is the third time this year Clemson goes on the road to face a team without a clear-cut No. 1 quarterback available.
The Tigers enter Saturday in the top ten nationally in five defensive categories: first in sacks (3.86) and tackles for loss (9.6) per game, and seventh in third-down defense (28.4) and three-and-outs (5.86) and ninth in interceptions (11).
Injury-wise, defensive tackle DeShawn Williams (ankle) and linebacker Ben Boulware (knee) are on the travel roster, both probable to play today. Boulware missed the past two games, and Williams was knocked out of the Florida State game.