Boston College - Maryland Matchup

Boston College (7-3) will battle Maryland (5-4) on Saturday afternoon in College Park. The Eagles will be looking to improve their bowl situation while the Terps will be looking to become bowl-eligible. BC scored the final 30 points in a 30-10 victory over NC State last week. Maryland netted over 500 yards of offense and topped North Carolina 33-30 in overtime. Here are the key players:

The Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan -- 63.7% comp, 1,028 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT
Sam Hollenbach -- 62.6% comp, 2,074 yards, 11 TD, 11 INT

Top Rushers
L.V. Whitworth -- 659 yards, 4.3 ypc, 4 TD
  Andre Callender -- 530 yards, 4.8 ypc, 2 TD
Lance Ball -- 702 yards, 5.0 ypc, 4 TD
  Mario Merrills -- 289 yards, 3.8 ypc, 4 TD

Top Receivers
Will Blackmon (WR) -- 43 catches, 569 yards, 3 TD
  Larry Lester (WR) -- 32 catches, 357 yards, 2 TD
  Chris Miller (TE) -- 23 catches, 209 yards, 4 TD
Vernon Davis (TE) -- 39 catches, 731 yards, 4 TD
  Danny Melendez (WR) -- 32 catches, 495 yards, 2 TD
  Derrick Fenner (WR) -- 30 catches, 381 yards, 2 TD

Top Defenders
Jamie Silva (FS) -- 68 tackles, 3 TFL
  Ray Henderson (LB) -- 63 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 INT
  Mathias Kiwanuka (DE) -- 44 tackles, 13 TFL, 7 sacks
D'Qwell Jackson (LB) -- 108 tackles, 2 sacks
  William Kershaw (LB) -- 72 tackles, 5.5 TFL
  Milton Harris (SS) -- 62 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 1 INT

The Kickers
William Troost -- 2/3 FG, 16/17 PAT
John Deraney -- 16/22 FG, 20/22 PAT

The Punters
Johnny Ayers -- 41.2 yards per punt
Adam Podlesh -- 44.8 yards per punt

The Kick Returners
Will Blackmon -- 22.4 yds per KO return,
9.0 yds per punt return (1 TD)
Jo Jo Walker -- 25.0 yards per KO ret
5.4 yards per punt return

Final Analysis

Boston College gained plenty of momentum last week on both sides of the ball. Matt Ryan led the Eagles to 30 points against a defense ranked in the top 20 nationally. The Maryland defense isn't quite as good as NC State's so the BC offense should have great success if they minimize mistakes as they did last week. Throughout the year, Maryland's run defense has been its weakness, but last week it was the pass defense that disappeared. I think BC will have a more balanced offense this week (a few more passes). One player to watch out for is senior linebacker D'Qwell Jackson who already has 108 tackles this season.

The BC pass rush was relentless last week against NC State. If they can generate the same type of pressure this week, it could be a long day for Maryland QB Sam Hollenbach. If not, Hollenbach is capable of putting up some big numbers. The 6'5" junior has thrown for more than 2,000 yards this season including 374 in last week's victory. He's also prone to mistakes, however, as illustrated by his 11 interceptions. Maryland has a nice running game led by sophomore Lance Ball. Ball has rushed for 100 yards or more in three of his last five games and is averaging 5.0 yards per carry.

A week ago, I thought Maryland would have the edge in this game but after seeing the way Kiwi played last week I have revised my expectations. The Maryland offense is clearly a bigger threat than NC State was last week. They have shown that they can be effective with the pass or the run. I think BC will contain Ball so it will come down to putting pressure on Hollenbach. Maryland was pretty solid against the run last week, but that has not been the norm for the Terps this season. BC should be able to run the ball and control the clock. If last week is any indication, the BC offense will be very successful.

Final Score: Boston College 27 Maryland 24

Maryland Links
Official Site
Rivals Site
CBS Sportsline
Fox Sports

Maryland by the Numbers

Maryland has converted only 33% of their 3rd down opportunities into first downs, but they are 60% (9/15) on 4th down.

Punter Adam Podlesh ranks 9th in the NCAA in punting with an average of 44.8 yards per punt. Kicker Dan Ennis is 9th in field goals per game (1.8).

Statistic BC MD
Offense - Run 69 59
Offense - Pass 36 31
Offense - Total 55 42
Defense - Run 85 22
Defense - Pass 23 21
Defense - Total 14 46