Technically, it would still be possible for the Maryland Terrapins to win the ACC Championship with a loss today to the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville. But it sure would be a lot easier if they win.
The Terrapins' final minute loss to the Miami Hurricanes last weekend put a hurt on the team's title hopes, but losses by Florida State and N.C. State helped keep Maryland alive.
The bad news though is that this game is on the road. Maryland is undefeated (4-0) at home in Byrd Stadium this year, but they've won just one out of four road games.
SB Nation's Maryland Terrapins blog Testudo Times gives us some keys for a potential Terps victory:
- Establish the ground game. They give up 210 yards a game on the ground. Maryland's struggled to get their running game going, but they did it against Wake and, if they do it here, can control the game.
- Don't let Chase Minnifield make plays. Chase Minnifield has seven interceptions on the year. Danny O'Brien has become increasingly human in terms of throwing interceptions. Today would be a nice day to avoid them.
- Limit Keith Payne. The stats for UVA are solid, but they came against poor teams. My biggest worry isn't Marc Verica, but instead Payne: for one, the Hoos always have a random running back destroy Maryland (see: Simpson, Mikell; Jackson, Rashawn). He was also great the past two games and is probably the biggest threat to control the game for UVA.
Testudo Times also breaks down the unlikely scenario that could lead to an ACC Championship appearance if Maryland can't get the job done today.
If Maryland falls to UVA, they won't technically control their own destiny, because then what other teams do would come into play and it would get complicated. Essentially, if Maryland loses to UVA, Clemson wins their final two games (FSU, Wake), FSU loses their final two games (Clemson, MD), and N.C. State loses two more games (UNC, MD, Wake), Clemson wins the division. That's a lot of ifs, but if they happened, it wouldn't matter if MD beat FSU and N.C. State or not.