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MnB Questions Testudo Times

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As Maryland travels to freezing Ann Arbor, Alex from SBN's Maryland site Testudo Times gives us a few moments to answer some questions.

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How's Maryland feeling about their first Big Ten year, especially when they (a) beat Penn State and (b) are already bowl-eligible with two games to go?

AK: For the most part, it's been a positive experience for Maryland. The Terps have beaten virtually every team they're supposed to beat, and they've lost to three pretty great teams (Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin) and another good one (West Virginia). Beating Penn State was a nice development for the program, but I don't think just making a bowl means a lot. If Maryland doesn't at least get to 7-5 with one more win, a lot of the good feelings about this season will probably fade away.

What's Randy Edsall's scheme going to be for a Michigan defense that has done well against the run, but can't stop a pass to save their lives?

AK: Edsall is limited by C.J. Brown's horrible throwing. Michigan's going to mix three- and four-down lineman sets against Maryland, probably with anywhere from seven to nine men in the box on every play. Michigan will test Brown's arm, and no matter how bad the Wolverines' pass defense has been, Brown's passing efficiency lately has almost surely been worse. But Maryland has to ride or die with the pass on Saturday, because the run game has gone virtually nowhere.

Offensively, however, Maryland has had trouble moving the ball just like Michigan...is a QB change coming, or is it something controllable like turnovers or penalties?

AK: Edsall hinted this week that Brown could be replaced if he continues to struggle. Turnovers are a huge issue with Brown (he threw three interceptions against Michigan State and could have thrown more), but more than that, he just can't execute passes that travel more than a few yards down the field. I don't expect to see anyone other than Brown at quarterback, but his play there has been pretty bad. And his best asset - his running ability - has gone away as defenses have clued into his inability to execute throws.

What are some of the things the Terps might be working on, that they struggled with against MSU and OSU?

AK: To hear them tell it, it's all about execution, especially on offense. A shocking statement, I know. Maryland's defense played hard against Michigan State and kept the Spartans to their second-worst yards-per-play rate of the season, but the offense couldn't stay on the field by putting together drives. A lot of that falls on Brown, but Maryland's offensive linemen haven't opened up holes, and the wide receivers have dropped some of Brown's best tosses.

How well does Maryland and their fans travel, especially when it is looking like a dismal forecast for Saturday?

AK: It sort of varies, but I'm not expecting to see a huge contingent on Saturday, given that it's Thanksgiving. I'd say the Terps have a roughly average traveling fan presence ordinarily - not the type that takes over host stadiums, but at least enough people to constitute a full section of the crowd.