Okay, let’s get one thing straight here, right off the bat. I’m a no-nonsense kind of person. You got that? There are only three things I give two hoots about in this world: family, oats, and diyabeetus. Not necessarily in that order. So when I tell you something, you can believe it. Why? Whiskbroom mustache. That’s why. It’s forthright earnestness in hair form.
So let’s cut the barley buck and get down to brass horse tacks, ladies and gents. Maryland plays #20 Clemson this week. Second in the ACC in scoring offense. Led by quarterback Cullen Harper, tailback C.J. Spiller, and future NFL receiver Aaron Kelly. It’s a tall order for your Terps, boys and girls. Because you see, the Terps have a pretty poor secondary. Five defensive backs on the injury list. They’ve got Kevin Barnes and then who? I ask you. Kevin Barnes and then who? Maryland ranks 109th nationally in passing yards allowed. Eastern Michigan got 282 against them, and for one of those quarters, it was me quarterbackin’ out there. Wouldn’t you know? I’m a regular Jay Cutler. Sure, the linebackers could help cover the receivers, but then who stops the run or pressures the QB? The linemen? Don’t make me chortle through the whiskbroom, son.
But now let me tell you another story. The story of Maryland. Second in the ACC in rushing. Remember a young fella, name of Da’rel Scott, ACC’s top running back? Well, he’s probable to play this week. Clemson gives up 113.5 rush yards a game. Now, I’m a simple man, but it doesn’t take an arithmetician to see that this discrepancy, plus some fearless play calls, plus the fact that Clemson seems to be trying a little too hard not to overlook you, perhaps equals a little advantage for the Terps down there in Death Valley.
Now, make no mistake. Death Valley is tough. Tougher than my old Aunt Sally. And if you knew that woman the way I did, you’d know what kinda toughness I’m talkin’ about. That kind of toughness wakes you up in a cold sweat, leathery hand on your gullet, shotgun leveled between your eyes, demanding you tell it where you hid the laudanum. You’re nigh on to nine corn crops old, gropin’ around for your little glasses and your little diyabeetus medications. I can still feel the warm urine as it soaks my long johns. What a vivid flashback I’m having right now. I can even smell it.
But you know something? Come in a little bit closer. I think the Terps are gonna pull off the upset. Just this morning I was bouncing my little granddaughter in my lap, and as I did so, my knee dislocated in the way it does only when a change is comin’ on the wind. Maryland’s on a bit of a roll, and Clemson is banged up and hasn’t beaten anyone good yet. I’ve got a feeling here. Call it a gut feeling. And when Wilford Brimley feels something in his gut, he sticks with it. Got that? Off you go then.
Prediction: Maryland 27, Clemson 24