College Football Preview: N.C. State vs. Maryland
RALEIGH ó The way injuries have plagued North Carolina State this season, coach Tom O’Brien wishes he could take one for his team.
“I hope I’m the next one hurt, the way we’re going,” O’Brien said. “I’ll take a hit for the team if it keeps somebody else healthy.”
The disappointing Wolfpack look to avoid their fifth straight loss today when they play host to a Maryland team that has dropped four in a row and six of seven in a matchup of the two worst teams in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
Four games remain, and already 12 injured N.C. State players are done for the season ó a list that starts with linebacker Nate Irving (auto accident during the summer) and ends with key offensive lineman R.J. Mattes (knee), who was hurt during last week’s loss at Florida State.
The expanded disabled list has derailed a season in which the Wolfpack (3-5, 0-4) have dropped from darkhorse contenders for the division title to the only team winless in ACC play.
“They’ve kind of accepted the fact that they’ve been dealt a bad hand,” O’Brien said. “There’s nothing they can do but fight their way out of it. So we’re going to continue to fight and play the best we can.”
If nothing else, one team will walk out of Carter-Finley Stadium feeling at least marginally better about itself. The other formally will be eliminated from bowl consideration.
Maryland (2-6, 1-3) has won only once since Week 2 ó a 24-21 shocker against Atlantic leader Clemson ó and has no victories away from College Park, Md.