College FB Week 10: Maryland vs. UNC

Matt SmithSenior Analyst INovember 2, 2007

IconThis weekend is homecoming for the UNC Tar Heels, and they're looking for a big win over Maryland.

Both teams are coming off conference losses and need a boost of momentum to end the season.

The last time Maryland came into Kennan Memorial Stadium, the Terps rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to force overtime, where they eventually won.

This year, the Heels look to avenge that loss.

Carolina comes in with a 2-6 record, but have shown themselves to be a good, young team. With so many freshmen starting on both offense and defense, the Heels feel they're gaining valuable experience.

On the other sideline, Maryland enters Chapel Hill with a 4-4 overall record and looking to stay bowl-eligible. The Terps have been very inconsistent this year, with their only true signature win coming over Rutgers in September.

Carolina has played well since their loss to South Florida, but rookie mistakes have kept the Tar Heels out of the win column. Quarterback TJ Yates has thrown 12 interceptions against 11 touchdowns, but has shown the ability to bounce back in the second half of games.

Yates is having one of the best freshman seasons a UNC quarterback has ever had, and his play this weekend against Maryland will decide the game.

Carolina's three-pronged rushing attack has also developed thus far. The Heels' zone blocking scheme is starting to come together, which should help open up the offense down the road.

The UNC defense will have to play lights-out this weekend, as the high-powered Maryland rushing attack is averaging over 149.9 YPG.

Defensive end Hilee Taylor should have a big game, both in pass-rushing and run-stopping. The emergence of linebacker Quan Sturdivant has also been a boon for the Heels.

This game is a pivotal one for the Heels, who are growing restless knowing they have the talent to succeed. Look for UNC to have a big game against the Terrapins this weekend, coming out on top with a game-winning field goal from Connor Barth.

Prediction: Maryland 21, North Carolina 24