Date: Dec. 26, 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Location: Ford Field | Detroit
Best moment: Becoming bowl eligible. Gatorade baths, a marriage proposal, a rivalry win -- those are some pretty key ingredients for a memorable senior day. Maryland upended Rutgers 31-13 in the last week of an up-and-down regular season to reach six wins and send the Terps bowling.
Lowest moment: Big back-to-back losses against Michigan and Ohio State. First came the Terps’ 59-3 loss to the Wolverines and then a 62-3 loss to the Buckeyes. That showed just how far D.J. Durkin’s team has to go and, in case it’s not obvious, it’s a long, long way. The games weren’t even as close as the scores suggested. At halftime, Maryland trailed in the two games by a combined 80-3.
Key player: QB Perry Hills. It’s clear Maryland’s offense isn’t the same without him. Hills has been incredibly efficient this season, throwing 10 touchdowns to three interceptions, in spite of missing two games and leaving early in four. He’s completing a conference-high 66 percent of his passes.
Motivation level: Medium-high. The Terps haven’t won a bowl since 2010, so they’d obviously like to change that this season. Maryland has already shown improvement by rebounding from a 3-9 season, so a winning record and bowl victory would be yet another step in the right direction. -- Josh Moyer
Best moment: Beating Wake Forest. Without the 17-14 win to close out the regular season, the Eagles wouldn’t have reached six wins and wouldn’t have clinched bowl eligibility after missing the postseason a year ago. Winning at NC State 21-14 was also a huge win for Steve Addazio and his program, considering the stakes. BC finished with three more wins than it had a year ago.
Lowest moment: Playing the top four teams in the ACC and losing by a combined score of 202-24. Though the nonconference schedule was easy (wins over Buffalo, UMass, Wagner and UConn), the ACC schedule was not. Boston College was completely overwhelmed by Clemson, Louisville, Virginia Tech and Florida State.
Key player: Harold Landry. The best player on another solid defense was Landry, who set the school single-season record with 15 sacks. That’s tied for the national lead with Florida State’s DeMarcus Walker. Landry also leads the nation with seven forced fumbles.
Motivation level: High. We’re talking about a bunch of dudes who are going to be ready to play. Well, at least that is what Addazio would say. With such a young team that still needs to develop, the extra 15 bowl practices should be instrumental moving forward. Plus, the Eagles haven’t won a bowl game since 2007. -- Andrea Adelson