East Carolina Pirates (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Maryland Terrapins (8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS), Military Bowl, 2:30 p.m. EST, Wednesday, December 29, 2010, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: ECU +7/MD -7
Over/Under Total: 68
The East Carolina Pirates ended their season on a sour note, losing four of their last five games to fall back to .500 for the season. But the Pirates get a chance to end the season on a good note when they face the Maryland Terrapins in the Military Bowl on Wednesday.
East Carolina started the season off at 5-2 but losses to UCF, Navy, Rice and SMU brought the Pirates back to .500. Their only win in that stretch was a 54-42 win at UAB. The Pirates are usually involved in high scoring battles. They can certainly put points on the board but they struggle to stop teams on defense. They scored at least 33 points in all but two games this season, and both of those games were losses. They allowed at least 27 points in all but one game, and that one game was an easy win. The East Carolina defense is allowing 220.8 rushing yards per game, which ranks fifth worst in the nation. On offense, the Pirates are throwing for 319.3 passing yards per game, which ranks seventh best in the nation.
Maryland had a solid year in the ACC, finishing second in the Atlantic Division with a 5-3 conference record, a game behind Florida State for first place. The Terps didn’t win more than two games in a row all season and they never lost two games in a row all season long. They finished the season much better than it started. They barely edged out Navy by a field goal to start the season. After a blowout win over Morgan State, they lost to West Virginia by two touchdowns. After a blowout win over Florida International, they barely edged out Duke at home. Then, the Terps got blown out by Clemson. At that point, the Terps were not looking very good. But then, the won by a field goal at Boston College and blew out Wake Forest at home, 62-14. After a six-point loss at Miami, the Terps won by 19 at Virginia. After a home loss to Florida State, the Terps ended the regular season on a strong note with a 38-31 home win over nationally ranked NC State.
The Terps have a balanced offensive attack and a solid defense. QB Danny O’Brien has 2,257 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions. Running backs Davin Meggett and Da’Rel Scott share the load in the backfield. The two of them combined have run for 1,166 yards and seven touchdowns. Torrey Smith is the team’s leading receiver with 65 receptions for 1,045 yards and 12 touchdowns.
East Carolina relies on its QB Dominique Davis to carry the offense. He has 3,699 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Jonathan Williams gets most of the carries in the backfield. He has 846 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Dwyane Harris the team’s leading receiver with 93 receptions for 1,055 yards and 10 touchdowns. Fellow WR Lance Lewis has 78 receptions for 979 yards and 13 touchdowns.
East Carolina faced three ACC opponents this season. The Pirates lost 49-27 at Virginia Tech, lost 42-17 at North Carolina, and beat NC State at home, 33-27. By comparison, the Terps did not face Virginia Tech or North Carolina, but they did defeat NC State at home as well, 38-31. Both teams also faced Navy this season. East Carolina absolutely obliterated Navy at home, 76-35. Maryland barely edged out Navy at home, 17-14.
East Carolina is 4-1 ATS in its last five neutral site games and 4-0 ATS in its last four neutral site games as an underdog. The Pirates are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games vs. the ACC. Maryland is 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall, 4-1 ATS in its last five games as a favorite, and 4-1 ATS in its last five bowl games. The over is 4-0 in East Carolina’s last five games overall. The over is 4-1-1 in Maryland’s last six games overall.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: East Carolina at +7.5 (2 scores) is a LIVE dog! Take the Pirates to get the money.