Preview: Maryland Set to Face NC State in Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Maryland (7-5) vs #23 NC State (8-4)

When: Friday, December 30 @ 12 PM

Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

TV: ESPN; Anish Shroff (pxp), Brock Osweiler (analyst), Andraya Carter (sideline)

Radio: 105.7 FM (Balt.) / 980AM (DC)

Maryland will close the book on the 2022 season today in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl versus NC State, giving the former ACC rivals a chance to secure the 34th all-time win with the series deadlocked at 33-33-4.

After Maryland initially opened as a 1.5-point favorite before NC State became the 1.5-favorite earlier this week, NC State is now a one-point favorite per Draftkings with the over/under set at 46.5.

The familiar face that all Maryland fans are looking forward to watch is quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who enters Friday just 213 yards away from notching his second consecutive 3,000-yard season. Still, his yards total in both 2021 (3,860) and 2022 (2,787) sit inside the top five in program history but he’ll have to do so without several of their top offensive playmakers sidelined. Wide receivers Rakim Jarrett, Jacob Copeland and Dontay Demus have all opted out and started preparation for the 2023 NFL Draft, while tight end CJ Dippre left the program where he’ll suit up at Alabama next season. Veteran wideout Jeshaun Jones will return to lead a new-look room, but fans will get a glimpse into the future with underclassmen like Tai Felton, Octavian Smith and Leon Haughton filling the void. Another prime candidate to get increased opportunities is freshman receiver Shaleak Knotts, a former four-star prospect who hails from North Carolina.

It won’t be easy as the Wolfpack allow 222.9 yards through the air and lead the ACC with 17 interceptions with five players recording at least two apiece.

While the passing attack will feature new names, the rushing attack won’t with Roman Hemby leading the way after finishing the regular season with the third-most scrimmage yards (1,200) of any FBS freshmen. His three 50-plus yard rushes are tied for seventh-most in the nation while his seven 100-yard game this season are tied with Anthony McFarland Jr. for the most in a single season of any freshman in program history. Antwain Littleton and Colby McDonald should both factor in, while former four-star and first-year running back Ramon Brown could get an elevated role as a potential every down back. Maryland is 7-0 this season when they run for 130 yards or more, but they’ll face a tough test against an NC State team ranked third in the ACC allowing just 102.8 yards per game. While Maryland’s offensive line could be without Johari Branch on Friday, they’ll have a tough test against an NC State front led by Davin Vann. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack are led by five All-ACC selections in consensus first team selection and cornerback Aydan White, along with safety Tanner Ingle, cornerback Cory Durden and linebackers Drake Thomas and Isaiah Moore.

NC State, meanwhile, saw a pair of offensive coaches depart since the regular season win over UNC while wide receiver Devin Carter has since departed from the program. While Devin Leary departed for the transfer portal, head coach Dave Doeren remained mum on Thursday when asked who will start against the Terrapins. “Why would I tell you that?” Doeren joked. The buzz, though, sits with freshman MJ Morris to take the opening snaps on Friday. The Wolfpack rotated through quarterbacks with Ben Finley and Jack Chambers also drawing snaps this season, but like Locksley’s approach with bowl games, Friday could give NC State a glimpse into the future. Morris started a pair of games this fall and threw for 648 yards on 52-of-86 passing, ran for another 88 yards and totaled eight touchdowns including seven passing to just one interception.

As the Terps look to secure its first eight-win season since 2010, head coach Mike Locksley reiterated he’s willing to take a mayo bath if it means a Maryland win. “I will do anything if it entails winning,” Locksley said. “If you do it because you win, I want to do it. I have no problem with it.”

Kickoff is set for 12:03 PM.

Related Links

Maryland powers past UMBC for tenth win of the season

Portal OL expected to officially visit Maryland (+)

Preview: Maryland men’s basketball wraps up nonconference play vs. UMBC

Shell-N-Tell: Put Up Your Duke’s

Virginia four-star has strong connections to Maryland (+)