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October 4, 2013
Final Analysis & Prediction
Maryland's best chance is to jump on FSU's defense early, rack up some early scores and take the early lead. Considering how effective the Terps' offense has been so far in 2013, and with the Seminoles struggling early in games, that scenario is not out of the question. Maryland's offense will operate quickly and will run a spread system with plenty of zone reads in hopes of keeping the FSU defense off balance. That will be a huge test for a defense that has shown some vulnerability through the first four games.
While it's conceivable that Maryland will be able to score points early, the Seminole defense has shown the ability to bounce back and completely shut down teams after the first couple drives.
Regardless of what happens with Maryland's offense, slowing down Jameis Winston and a very potent Seminole offense will be a tall order for a defense that simply doesn't have the same level of athletes on the field. With that in mind, look for defensive coordinator Brian Stewart to bring blitz after blitz at Winston in hopes of rattling the 'Noles' rookie quarterback. While FSU's offensive line has been hit and miss in protecting the quarterback, when he does have time Maryland's defensive backs will be on an island against wide receivers that they will have hard time matching up with physically.
Maryland's defense also can't focus solely on Winston as FSU's running game is capable of taking over the game. Unless the Terps can jump off to a two or more score lead, the combination of Devonta Freeman, James Wilder Jr. and Karlos Williams could very easily wear down the Maryland defense.
The Terrapins only shot to pull off the monumental upset will be to dominate special teams and win the turnover battle. So far they have been outstanding in both of these areas, albeit against substandard competition. In Maryland's last win, West Virginia turned the ball over a whopping six times.
While it's possible that FSU could get off to a slow start and struggle at times, Maryland shouldn't have the horses to compete with the Seminoles over four quarters.
Score Prediction: FSU 41, Maryland 17
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