Vellano, the senior defensive lineman whose 14 tackles-for-loss leads the conference, had 20 tackles in the game — plus a signature moment. Vellano was rushing Washington, who threw the ball over the head of the 6-foot-2, 285-pound lineman to wide receiver Stephen Hill. Vellano raced downfield and caught Hill 35 yards later. "I just ran him down," Vellano said.

After the game, Johnson singled out Vellano for praise. He did so again this week.

Asked if Vellano might be the best defensive lineman in the conference, Johnson replied: "He got my vote a year ago."

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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Maryland (4-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) vs. Georgia Tech (3-5, 2-3 ACC)

Time: 12:30 p.m.

Site: Byrd Stadium

TV: Chs. 13, 5

Radio: 105.7 FM, 980 AM

Series: Georgia Tech leads 14-6.

Last meeting: Georgia Tech def. Maryland, 21-16, on Oct. 8, 2011 in Atlanta.

Line: Georgia Tech by 7 ½

Maryland offense vs. Georgia Tech defense: After losing four quarterbacks to season-ending injuries, Maryland will start converted linebacker Shawn Petty at the position with tight end Brian McMahon as his backup. The Terps hope for a big game from freshman tailback Wes Brown, who has emerged with a combined 194 yards over the past two games. Georgia Tech switched defensive coordinators this season but surrendered 41 points and 411 yards in a loss to BYU last week.

Maryland defense vs. Georgia Tech offense: Georgia Tech has rushed for more yards than any Football Bowl Subdivision team since 2008 and ranks fourth in the nation this season (311.8 yards per game). Quarterback Tevin Washington (15 touchdowns) has split time with redshirt freshman Vad Lee, who has rushed for 282 yards (7.5 yards per carry). After holding Boston College to eight rushing yards, Maryland ranks seventh nationally in total defense (289.3 yards per game) and fourth in rushing defense (77.6 yards per game).

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