2005 Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Maryland

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Should the Hokies fear the Turtle? I think not� Looking at Maryland�s statistics in their first six games, one
stat sticks out dramatically as an indicator of the Terps� success. In their four wins, Maryland has rushed for at
least 162 yards (against Wake Forest) and over 200 yards in three of the games. In their two losses against Clemson and
West Virginia, Maryland rushed for 56 and 50 yards respectively. Just based on this information, stopping the run would
look to be the key for this game. If the Hokies stop the run and turn Maryland into a one-dimensional passing offense,
Tech should win.

Let�s see what the statistical model projects for this game:


2005 Projection

Virginia Tech

Maryland

First Downs

22

13

Rushing Attempts � Yards

46-168

33-122

Passing Completions � Attempts

14-19

12-22

Passing Yards

211

135

Turnovers

0

3

Sacks By

2

3

The computer seems to believe that VT will have a conservative game plan with only 41 total passes thrown in the
game. I tend to think that Maryland will put the ball in the air more than 22 times, but we�ll see� Maryland only
gains 122 yards rushing, but will that be enough to control the line of scrimmage? Probably not� Tech has some success
rushing, but the big statistic is the passing yardage with 211 yards gained on only 14 completions. Obviously, the
computer thinks that Tech will have some big plays in the passing game.

For a comparison, let�s look back at the statistics from last year�s Thursday night game in Blacksburg:


2004 Game

Virginia Tech

Maryland

First Downs

22

14

Rushing Attempts � Yards

50-239

30-56

Passing Completions � Attempts

8-14

16-31

Passing Yards

137

141

Turnovers

0

5

Sacks By

1

1

Comparing the projected box score to last year�s statistics, Tech�s total yardage is almost the same, but Tech
will have less success rushing this year and make more big plays in the passing game. Maryland will have more success on
the ground and gain 60 more total yards. Turnovers will again plague the Terps, but not as dramatically as last year in
which the game got out of hand early. Looking at the statistics, the game looks like a relatively easy win for the
Hokies.

Here�s my prediction on the scoring:

Virginia Tech   7  10  10  7 -- 34
Maryland        0   7   7  7 -- 21

VT - King 22 yd pass from Vick (Pace kick)
VT - Pace 21 yd FG
MD - Davis 16 yd pass from Hollenbach (Ennis kick)
VT - Imoh 3 yd run (Pace kick)
VT - Pace 43 yd FG
MD - Lattimore 2 yd run (Ennis kick)
VT - Morgan 31 yd pass from Vick (Pace kick)
VT - Hyman 13 yd pass from Vick (Pace kick)
MD - Fenner 47 yd pass from Hollenbach (Ennis kick)


Maryland and Virginia Tech have had one common opponent this year � West Virginia. The Maryland/WVU game was a
defensive struggle until the fourth quarter, with WVU pounding the ball on the ground and the Terps having some success
in the air, but neither team moved the ball consistently. West Virginia wore down the young Terrapin line on both sides
of the ball and clearly looked to be the stronger team that day.

Similarly, Virginia Tech wore down West Virginia over the course of the game in Morgantown, controlling the ball on
the ground and with precision passing from Marcus Vick. By the “transitive law of physicality,” Virginia Tech
should be too physical for the young Terps squad. If WVU was too physical for Maryland and Virginia Tech was too
physical for West Virginia, then it only goes to reason that the Hokies must be too physical for Maryland. Yes, I know
if Team A beats Team B and Team B defeats Team C, that does not necessarily mean Team A beats Team C, but in this case I
believe the transitive law holds and Tech will wear down the Terps.

Around the ACC

My winning streak picking ACC games ended abruptly last Thursday with the Clemson win over N.C. State. I also missed
the UVA upset over FSU though I did pick the game to be much closer than most projections. I got the other three games
correct, but those were all heavy favorites. Let�s give it a try again this week.

Georgia Tech (4-2) at Miami (5-1)

* GAME POSTPONED *

Virginia (4-2) at North Carolina (2-3)

Will the real Virginia Cavalier football team please step forward? To my surprise, UNC is actually a ONE point
favorite in this game, but I feel the Wahoos� momentum, as well as a solid ground attack, will be too much for the
Heels. In a high-scoring battle, Virginia overcomes UNC by 6.

N.C. State (2-3) at Wake Forest (2-5)

The Wolfpack, or should I say Amato�s Enigma, will try to right their disappointing season by taking on the feisty
Demon Deacons. Will the “real” N.C. State defense show up this week? I see this one being a nail-biter that
goes down to the wire � N.C. State by a very skinny 1.

Florida State (5-1) at Duke (1-6)

A ticked-off Seminole squad facing the hapless Blue Devils does not require a great deal of analysis � FSU by 30.

Temple (0-7) at Clemson (3-3)

The Owls continue their self-destructive tour of the ACC by getting thrashed by the Tigers � Clemson by 36.

Other Big Games around the Nation

I went 5-2 last week only missing games because of a dropped punt snap (Minnesota-Wisconsin) and a missed two-point
conversion (Louisville-West Virginia). I thought USC would handle Notre Dame more easily and Colorado would give Texas a
tougher battle, but at least I got the picks correct. This week lacks the marquis games of last week, but there are
still some good contests.

Texas Tech (6-0) at Texas (6-0)

The Red Raiders� wide open offense will test the Longhorns, but Vince Young, Jamal Charles, and company are too
strong on the ground for Texas Tech. I see a wide-open, high-scoring battle with Texas winning by 17.

Auburn (5-1) at LSU (4-1)

In the game-of-the-week, we have a battle of Tigers for the lead in the SEC West Division. Auburn has improved
dramatically after an opening week upset by Georgia Tech and LSU is playing well despite all of the distractions from
the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This should be a close contest that will be won by the team that is able to make the
big plays down the stretch. I see Jamarcus Russell and the LSU receiving corps coming up big in the end and winning on a
late touchdown.

Tennessee (3-2) at Alabama (6-0)

Bama fans truly hate Phillip Fulmer and the Vols, so the difference in this game may be nothing more than passion of
the home fans. In terms of talent, these are two evenly matched teams, but I see the Tide rolling in a close,
hard-fought contest.

1-AA Games Around the State

I was 2-2 in my first week picking the 1-AA games involving state teams. James Madison lost a tough battle with
Massachusetts and Richmond knocked off a tough Delaware squad. I did hit the VMI game on the nose with Wofford winning
by 15. Here are my picks for this week:

James Madison over Delaware by 7
William & Mary over Towson by 21
Hofstra over Richmond by 7
VMI over Gardner-Webb by 4
Coastal Carolina over Liberty by 11
Hampton over South Carolina State by 5
Florida A&M over Norfolk State by 10

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