Shakin' the Southland: We've both been served a couple pieces of humble pie the last few weeks. My question to you is, which team is the real Maryland? The one that pounded WVU or the one that has looked bad the last 3 weeks against FSU, UVA, and Wake Forest?
Testudo Times: You haven't seen the real Maryland going forward yet, unfortunately. Because of another rash of terrible, positionally concentrated injuries, the Terps have lost their two best offensive weapons and receivers, most of their linebackers and both of their starting cornerbacks. Their best running back has been dinged, too. The real Maryland was a very talented team that looked like a good bet to win at least eight games, with a decent chance at nine or 10. This Maryland, though, is ravaged by injury and some expected and unexpected regression. I don't think Terps fans are going to especially like the version of this team they'll see for the rest of the season, with a lot of backups on the field and the team's best player sitting out.
Shakin' the Southland: Losing two of the most talented WRs in the country in Stefon Diggs and Deon Long would be a tremendous blow to any team in the country. What did these guys mean to Maryland and how will they be replaced?
Testudo Times:Diggs and Long meant that Maryland's offense could never be counted out. Diggs had been mediocre for several consecutive games, but he's still as talented as any wideout in college football, and Long had been an athletic, reliable target for whoever was throwing him the ball. Diggs' explosiveness and home run potential are a huge loss, and losing Long on top of Diggs is devastating. To replace them, Maryland will look to tight end Dave Stinebaugh, who's a nice complimentary player but shouldn't under any circumstances be a primary receiving option. The Terps have a talented No. 3 receiver in Nigel King, but he's been hurt for much of the year and hasn't been impressive when he's been on the field. Malcolm Culmer and Amba Etta-Tawo were supposed to be nothing pure depth this year, but it they'll have to produce now, too.
Shakin' the Southland: Maryland has a bit of a QB controversy on their hands with C.J. Brown and Caleb Rowe. What's the latest news there? Who do you think gives Maryland the best chance to win on Saturday.
Testudo Times: As of Tuesday evening, the latest is that Brown's probably dealing with some kind of injury and we don't know who will start. After three games, Brown looked like he was on his way to a tremendous bounce-back season after missing last year with a torn ACL, but he was concussed against Florida State, sat against Virginia and was b-r-u-t-a-l in Winston-Salem on Saturday. Rowe has a strong arm and plenty of upside, but he's only OK for an ACC starter at this point. For Saturday, I feel the same about Maryland's chances regardless of who starts. And those chances aren't very good.
Shakin' the Southland: Maryland has looked brilliant at times on defense (i.e. - WVU) and has had some really rough outings (i.e. - FSU, UVA). Have injuries played a factor in the ups and downs? Or is inconsistent execution more to blame?
Testudo Times: Injuries, to me, have been the single biggest factor -- well, injuries and the freight train that is the Florida State Seminoles. As far as plain inconsistency, the offensive line has remained healthy but deteriorated recently and was some kind of awful against Wake Forest. Nikita Whitlock was literally doing whatever he wanted against that unit on Saturday.
Shakin' the Southland: The Maryland fanbase seemed to be turning a corner in their support of Randy Edsall after the 4-0 start. Is he still receiving that same type of support after the last few weeks? Or is the Fire Edsall crowd coming out again?
Testudo Times: Edsall has been the victim of horrible luck with injuries the past two seasons, but there's a case to be made that he hasn't put together a deep enough roster to get past them. Still, there's very little chance Edsall is removed; the Terps have improved each year he's been on the job, and he has a contract. But the sentiment toward his program was overwhelmingly positive a few weeks ago, and there's no way it's gone anywhere but downhill since then.
Shakin' the Southland: Both teams are looking to rebound and build some confidence in the 2nd half of the season. Who do you think breaks through? Give me your prediction.
Testudo Times: There's a very strong chance that Maryland gets run out of its own stadium. The Terps are ravaged by injuries and have played lousy football for three weeks, but more than that, Clemson is an excellent team that should come into Byrd Stadium humbled, furious and looking for something to hurt. I'm afraid the Terps will make for an easy target.Clemson 45, Maryland 10.