Quick Lane Bowl Storylines
1. Former ACC foes Maryland and Boston College both rebounded from three-win campaigns a season ago and look to finish on a winning note when they tangle in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit the day after Christmas. The Terrapins, in head coach D.J. Durkin’s first year, are seeking their first bowl win since 2010, while the Eagles are looking to snap a five-game bowl losing streak that dates back to 2008. Durkin’s squad had a four-game slide down the stretch in which it was outscored 191-49 before defeating Rutgers in the last game of the regular season to gain bowl eligibility, while Boston College won its final two contests to reach a bowl game for the third time in four years under coach Steve Addazio.
2. The game could be decided in the battle between Maryland’s running game and Boston College’s stout rush defense, which is ranked seventh in the country. The Terrapins have four players with more than 100 rushing yards and at least 6.0 yards per carry, and leader Ty Johnson (845 yards, four touchdowns) is second nationally with 8.9 per attempt after picking up 168 yards on 11 carries in the win over Rutgers. Freshman Lorenzo Harrison piled up 7.2 per carry and led the way with five rushing TDs, but his status is in doubt after a late-season suspension.
3. Durkin and Addazio were on the same staff at Florida in 2010 and the latter was singing the praises of Maryland’s first-year leader. “When he came to Florida, we wanted him so desperately to come and I was the interim head coach at that time,” Addazio told reporters. “He had worked with Urban Meyer in the past and had a chance to be around D.J., his passion, his energy, so his career path hasn’t surprised me in the least. I always said to myself, this is a guy that’s going to be destined to be a great head football coach.” Durkin, who was in charge of special teams and linebackers while working alongside Addazio that year, expressed similar sentiments. “A lot of our program, what we do and what is based on is right in line with Steve and to be honest with you, the things I learned from Steve,” Durkin told the media. “I can’t say enough. I said earlier, Steve’s a guy I look up to in the profession.”
ABOUT MARYLAND (6-6, 3-6 Big Ten): Perhaps a full month off between games will help senior quarterback Perry Hills recover from persistent shoulder issues that caused him to miss two games and leave four others early this season. Hills completed 66 percent of his passes and had 10 TDs against three interceptions when in there, helping the Terrapins to a 5-1 record in games he was able to start and finish. “We think he’s been a really good player for us this year when he’s been healthy,” Durkin said of Hills. “We’ve had some ups and downs based on his health. He was back for us the last game of the year. He’s back healthy now.”
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (6-6, 2-6 ACC): Junior defensive end Harold Landry leads the way for Addazio’s defense and is up for many postseason honors after tying for the FBS lead with 15 sacks and ranking third with 20.5 tackles for loss. The nation’s 127th-ranked offense did just enough in the two-game winning streak to end the regular season, as senior quarterback Patrick Towles threw for 257 yards and two TDs with no interceptions. He is one of four players with at least 200 rushing yards but the Eagles – who own an 8-3 all-time series advantage – average just 3.4 yards per attempt, 117th in the country.
PREDICTION: Maryland 20, Boston College 17