Preview: Maryland goes for bowl bid vs. Syracuse

Preview: Maryland goes for bowl bid vs. Syracuse
November 9, 2013, 9:30 am
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Edsall faces alma mater Saturday vs. Syracuse

VITALS

Matchup: Syracuse (4-4, 2-2 ACC) at Maryland (5-3, 1-3 ACC)

Date: Nov. 9, 2013

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

Location: Byrd Stadium, College Park, Md.

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Spread: Maryland (-5.0)

THREE-POINT STANCE: THREE KEYS TO WATCH

Depleted by injuries before the bye week in its loss to Clemson, Maryland will now be helped by the services of three returning offensive starters against Syracuse. Quarterback C.J. Brown should be fully healed from the midsection injury that kept him out against the Tigers, while running back Brandon Ross and tight end Dave Stinebaugh will be back in the lineup, as well.

Saturday's game will serve as Act II for this young group of wide receivers, led by Levern Jacobs. We will see how much chemistry Brown has with the group, now in his first game without both Stefon Diggs and Deon Long.

- Will the zone read make a comeback? Mostly because of injuries to Brown, first a concussion against Florida State and then the midsection injury, we haven't seen the zone read as a cornerstone of Maryland's offense since the team's first four wins. With both Brown and Ross back, consider it a possibility on Saturday.

- Injuries continue to be a problem on the defensive side of the ball, despite the returning help offensively. Linebacker Cole Farrand, who to this point had been a rock in the middle for Maryland, will miss Saturday's game with a concussion. That means the cards will need to be shuffled again in a unit that has already been hit hard by injuries. Looking at the depth chart, expect Alex Twine and Shawn Petty to see major time filling in.

WHAT'S ON THE LINE?

Maryland shoots for bowl eligibility for the third time, which likely means a trip to the Military Bowl in Annapolis in December. If Maryland can't seal the deal on Saturday, the road gets no easier. Next week they travel to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech, followed by a pesky Boston College team at home before finishing out the season on the road against NC State.

Saturday presents Maryland's best chance to become bowl eligible.

WHERE TO WATCH

Comcast SportsNet will carry the game live beginning at 3:30 p.m.

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