ACC Bowl Preview #2

Dec. 16, 2010

December 29th – Military Bowl
Maryland (8-4) vs. East Carolina (6-6), 2:30 p.m.

After going 2-10 last year, one would think that Maryland would be happy with just having a post-season game to play, but the Terps were hoping that their +6 game swing from a year ago, might get them a better destination. Bowl officials were hoping otherwise, thinking Maryland might help them move tickets. But as of press time, it really hadn’t happened for the organizers.

Traveling 15 minutes from College Park to RFK Stadium is one of the hurdles Maryland will have to get over. ECU is in a bowl game for the fifth straight year. The Pirates lost to Arkansas last year in the Liberty Bowl, and now must handle being the “road team” in the bowl game formerly sponsored by Eagle Bank.

ECU has already played three teams from the ACC this year, losing to Virginia Tech and North Carolina, and winning an overtime game against NC State. Maryland will be an interesting opponent for the Pirates because it uses ACC Rookie of the Year, QB Danny O’Brien, in a variety of ways.

O’Brien is a “smart Friedgen quarterback” according to those around the program, and its validated by his #4 passer rating among rookie signal-callers.

The tempo of this game will be critical because the Pirates can score. Ruffin McNeil, their first-year head coach, won a bowl game last year as the interim head coach at Texas Tech. Now he has his alma mater playing at the same level, passing for over 300 yards a game and scoring more than 38 points a game.

That will be a big challenge for the local favorite.

— Wes Durham

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