By Jeff Barker
The Baltimore Sun
4:01 PM EDT, October 16, 2012
Maryland faces N.C. State for homecoming Saturday with an opportunity to begin the ACC season 3-0 for the first time since 2001 – and only the second time since 1985.
Maryland has outscored teams 51-31 in the fourth quarter. That’s a key stat for a team that couldn’t close out games last season. The conference teams Maryland has defeated are a combined 1-6 in league play. Neither team had a top quarterback, and Maryland’s solid defense held both of the opponent's starters under a 50 percent completion rate. But you’ve got to start somewhere.
The Terps face a tougher test Saturday against a Wolfpack team that upset Florida State in its last game. Quarterback Mike Glennon leads the ACC with a 349.5 passing yards average.
We’ll have a full-length story on the team for tomorrow’s paper, but here are some highlights of today’s media availability:
* Sure, Perry Hills ranks 10th in the conference in passing yardage per game, but here’s proof that he’s come up big when it matters most: According to Maryland, Hills is 24-for-35 for 390 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. “When the game is on the line, he’s performed at his best,” coach Randy Edsall said.
* Maryland says it’s determined to revive its dormant running game, which ranks last in the ACC. Maryland’s average of rushing 71.3 yards per game ranks it more than 30 yards behind the next ACC team.
Maryland’s running yardage actually dipped into negative territory last weekend (minus-2 yards against Virginia).
* But Maryland’s running game may need to work behind a patchwork line. Center Sal Conaboy and guard Bennett Fulper both left the Virginia game with injuries, and their statuses are uncertain.
* Darryl Hill -- the first African-American to play football in the ACC -- appeared today at a news conference marking 50 years since he enrolled at Maryland. We'll have a story on him as well.
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