Breaking it down: Tigers vs Terps

November 10, 2012 

MARYLAND (4-5, 2-3 ACC) AT NO. 10 CLEMSON (8-1, 5-1), 3:30 P.M. (ESPNU)

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Maryland needs a late-season charge to qualify for a bowl. It will be tough with Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina on its schedule. The defending ACC champion Tigers are hoping to keep their chances for a second consecutive league title and BCS spot alive with a victory against the Terps. The Tigers close out their regular season at home against North Carolina State and rival South Carolina the following two weeks.

KEY MATCHUP

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd against Maryland’s defense. Boyd’s been an offensive machine the past few weeks, running the Tigers offense with precision and decisiveness. He’s thrown for 1,696 yards and 16 touchdowns in Clemson’s past five victories since the lone loss of the season at Florida State two months ago. As if Maryland needed more hurdles to overcome, the Terps announced this week their leading tackler Demetrius Hartsfield was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Hartsfield was tied for seventh in the ACC with 78 tackles.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Maryland: QB Shawn Petty was a linebacker who took over under center after the Terps’ four scholarship quarterbacks were all lost for the season with injuries. Petty made his debut last week in a 33-13 loss to Georgia Tech and threw two TD passes to freshman WR Stefon Diggs. Petty also fumbled twice and threw an interception.

Clemson: WR DeAndre Hopkins has two games with three touchdown catches this season, both times accomplishing the feat in eight minutes or less. Hopkins tied the school record in the Tigers’ second game against Ball State, then went on a similar tear in last week’s 56-20 win against Duke. Hopkins leads the ACC with 13 TD catches.

The Associated Press

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