NCF Nation: 2010 Military Bowl 3 Keys

Military Bowl: 3 keys

December, 28, 2010
12/28/10
1:00
PM ET
Here are three keys for the Terps against East Carolina in the Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman:

1. Stay together. Maryland has more talent than East Carolina, but it will lose if it lets the coaching situation become a distraction. This is the most important intangible, and a challenging one for those within the program right now. It’s Ralph Freidgen’s final game as head coach of his alma mater, and both players and coaches have lamented the fact they missed opportunities to play in a higher-tier bowl. The Terps can either let the scenario beat them, or use it as motivation.

2. Disrupt the passing game. The one edge the Pirates have in this game is at quarterback, with former BC transfer Dominique Davis, but Maryland’s secondary is good enough to match up with ECU’s receivers. The key is to smother them and not let them loose for yards after the catch. Dwayne Harris and Lance Lewis have combined for 2,034 yards and 23 touchdowns on 171 receptions.

3. Get the running game going. It’s been stagnant all season, but that should change against East Carolina, which ranks 116th in the nation in rushing defense. If Maryland can establish a ground game and help keep quarterback Danny O’Brien in manageable third-down situations, it will be tough to get the Terps off the field.

East Carolina three keys

December, 28, 2010
12/28/10
10:30
AM ET
You saw the preview and prediction. Now here are three keys for East Carolina going into the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman against Maryland on Wednesday:

1. The Dominique Davis experience. East Carolina has played its fair share of ACC teams recently, including three this season. But this is the first meeting between the schools. There is one player, though, who knows what it is like to play, and beat the Terrapins. Davis made his first career start as a redshirt freshman at Boston College against Maryland on Nov. 29, 2008, and led the Eagles to a 28-21 win that secured an Atlantic Division title. He completed 12 of 24 passes for 134 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

2. Plenty of Dwayne Harris. The senior ranks fifth in all-purpose yards in the NCAA with an average of 171 yards a game and is seventh nationally with 7.8 receptions per game. He also has caught a pass in 43 straight games, the second-longest streak in the NCAA behind Scotty McKnight of Colorado (49). Davis has 929 all-purpose yards in his last five games, and East Carolina is going to need a big game out of him on offense.

3. Make some early defensive stops. If East Carolina can get a few stops early in the game, perhaps the Pirates can build confidence and help the offense out a little bit. The Pirates are not a ball-control team, but they have to be one against the Terrapins to keep Maryland off the field. Three-and-outs and a few turnovers early on would go a long way for a defense that has had some major struggles this season. Dustin Lineback is going to need a monster game.

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