You saw the preview and prediction. Now here are three keys for East Carolina going into the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman against Maryland on Wednesday:
1. The Dominique Davis experience. East Carolina has played its fair share of ACC teams recently, including three this season. But this is the first meeting between the schools. There is one player, though, who knows what it is like to play, and beat the Terrapins. Davis made his first career start as a redshirt freshman at Boston College against Maryland on Nov. 29, 2008, and led the Eagles to a 28-21 win that secured an Atlantic Division title. He completed 12 of 24 passes for 134 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
2. Plenty of Dwayne Harris. The senior ranks fifth in all-purpose yards in the NCAA with an average of 171 yards a game and is seventh nationally with 7.8 receptions per game. He also has caught a pass in 43 straight games, the second-longest streak in the NCAA behind Scotty McKnight of Colorado (49). Davis has 929 all-purpose yards in his last five games, and East Carolina is going to need a big game out of him on offense.
3. Make some early defensive stops. If East Carolina can get a few stops early in the game, perhaps the Pirates can build confidence and help the offense out a little bit. The Pirates are not a ball-control team, but they have to be one against the Terrapins to keep Maryland off the field. Three-and-outs and a few turnovers early on would go a long way for a defense that has had some major struggles this season. Dustin Lineback is going to need a monster game.