COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Syracuse moved into the top 25 with a season-opening 24-0 shutout of Liberty, and now the Orange will aim to prove they belong in the rankings Saturday when they visit Maryland. The Terps also posted a shutout in their season opener, rolling over Howard 79-0.
TV: Noon ET, ESPN. LINE: Maryland -1.5
The Terps outgained Howard 623-68, allowing just four total first downs in a dominant defensive effort. Josh Jackson was impressive on the other side of the ball, throwing four touchdown passes in his first career start. The Orange also began a new era under center with sophomore Tommy DeVito taking over for four-year starter Eric Dungey in Dino Babers' high-tempo offense. DeVito was just 17-of-35 for 176 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in the opener and must play better if Syracuse is going to post a road victory.
ABOUT SYRACUSE (1-0)
Syracuse must not look past Maryland to its looming showdown with Clemson next weekend, particularly after the team's sloppy offensive effort in Week 1. The running game carried the offense versus Liberty with Moe Neal (team-high 89 yards), Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard all plunging into the end zone on the ground, while the defense racked up eight sacks. "The thing that was really exciting was that a lot of those eight sacks weren't even pressures," Babers said. "Those are just three-man rushes and four-man rushes, somebody beating a guy and getting home."
ABOUT MARYLAND (1-0)
The Terps had to be thrilled with Jackson, who became the first Maryland player to throw four touchdowns in his first start since 1975. "It was nice. I kind of just got right back into the groove of things," Jackson said. "The touchdowns are cool and everything, but I was just glad we could go out and get a victory in the first game and now we did it. Seventy-nine points is pretty awesome for Coach (Michael) Locks (Locksley) and our team." Maryland, which lost its final four games last season - and gave up an average of 37 points in those four outings - held Howard to 2-of-17 on third downs and outgained the Bison 317-1 on the ground.
1. Terps WR Dontay Demus, who had 13 catches and zero touchdowns as a freshman, totaled three grabs for a career-high 100 yards and two scores against Howard.
2. Neal also was the Orange's leading receiver with three grabs for 54 yards in Week 1.
3. Maryland rushed the ball 48 times in the opener, totaling 317 yards and five scores.
PREDICTION: Syracuse 39, Maryland 33