If Maryland wants to beat Virginia today then it might all be on freshman receiver Stefon Diggs to do everything. That is because the Terrapins leading rusher, Wes Brown, is out for the game. That removes a much needed playmaker from a pedestrian offense.
Brown has run for 150 yards on 33 carries and one touchdown this season as one of the featured backs. Sophomore running back Justus Pickett will probably end up shouldering most of the workload in the running game against the Cavaliers. Pickett has run the ball 46 times for a total of 137 yard and three touchdowns.
Losing Brown really puts the Terrapins in a hole on offense. The offensive unit has been bad for most of the year. Their rushing attack is ranked 120th in the nation averaging only 86 yards per game. The passing game hasn’t fared much better and is ranked 104th with an average of 188 yards per game.
The only reason that Maryland is currently 3-2 is because of their defense. The unit is ranked 34th in scoring defense, giving up an average of 20.4 points per game. However, the defense can’t do it all. Defense can keep the Terps in a game but if they can’t score (which they can’t) then they can’t continue their winning ways.
Losing Brown means that Maryland has lost its second best playmaker on offense (behind Diggs), effectively making a poor offense even worse. The good news for the Terps, at least for today, is that Virginia’s defense isn’t exactly spectacular itself. Today’s game was always going to be a low scoring affair, but the loss of Brown puts a heavier burden on Maryland’s defense to keep the Cavaliers out of the end zone. The Terrapins offense might not be able to get there.