Early Look: Maryland vs. NC State

Maryland 7-5 (4-5 Big 10) vs NC State 8-4 (4-4 ACC)

When: Friday December 30th, 12:00pm

Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

NC State Preview

Head Coach: Dave Doeren, 72-53, 9th season at NC State

2022 Record: 8-4 (4-4 ACC)

Series Record: 33-33, Terps won last meeting in 2013 41-21

NC State: Offense

The Wolfpack average 343.5 yards per game with 222.5 through the air and 121 on the ground. The Wolfpack average 25.3 points per game as well. NC State has had a revolving door at QB ever since star QB Devin Leary suffered a season ending injury. Ben Finley helped lead NC State to an upset win over North Carolina but there’s a chance MJ Morris will be available for the bowl game against the Terps. The Wolfpack will also be without their offensive coordinator Tim Beck who was just recently hired as the head coach at Coastal Carolina, allowing running backs coach Kurt Roper to handle the play calling in the meantime. Jordan Houston and Thayer Thomas are the two players that stick out the most for the Wolfpack on offense. Houston has 740 scrimmage yards but has only scored one touchdown. Thomas is the Wolfpacks’ leading receiver with 53 receptions for 588 yards and four touchdowns as well as a passing touchdown. Morris and Finley have only combined for two interceptions while throwing for ten touchdowns. Morris, if healthy, will present a rushing threat in the Wolfpack offense with 88 rushing yards and a touchdown in the five games he has appeared in.

NC State: Defense

The Wolfpack are a very solid defensive unit only allowing 325.7 total yards per game. Defensive coordinator Tony Gibson is in his fourth season at NC State and last season under Gibson, the Wolfpack defense ranked second in the ACC in scoring and third in total defense, passing defense, and rushing defense. NC State only allows 19.4 points per game this season. Teams are only successful 31% of the time on third down against the Wolfpack. NC State is led by Drake Thomas on defense who leads the team in total tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks. Aydan White is also a key part of the NC State defense. He leads the team in interceptions and pass break ups. The matchup between the high powered and balanced offense of the Terps against the stingy and tough NC State defense will make for a matchup and will hope lead to a great bowl game.

Key Player Matchups

Aydan White vs Maryland’s Wide Receivers

White will more then likely be lining up against the Terps #1 wide receiver which as of right now will be either Rakim Jarrett or Jeshaun Jones. White leading the Wolfpack interceptions as well as pass break ups as he’s become a lockdown corner. And with the talent the Terps have at wide receiver and quarterback it will be an intriguing matchup in the bowl game.

Terps secondary vs MJ Morris/Ben Finley

While Finley was the original fourth string QB for the Wolfpack, he played a great game against their rival UNC. MJ Morris however was the starter and was simply injured and was not available for that game. Both QBs lack experience as a starter though with neither one player for a full season, and with Deonte Banks and possinly some other player in the secondary opting out of the bowl game, it can make for an interesting matchup with inexperience on both sides of the ball in the passing game.

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