"It's a pretty big game and you come here, the fans let you know it's a big game," Maryland senior defensive lineman AJ Francis said. "You get here, you play the game and you understand why it's a big rivalry because they don't like us and we don't like them and that's just how it is."
The Terps will bring the nation's seventh-stingiest run defense into Scott Stadium. They allow just 81 rushing yards per game, but also expect run-first Virginia to be more efficient on offense than it has shown. Virginia's running game has picked up in recent weeks after a slow start, and coach Mike London made a change at quarterback last week, inserting Alabama transfer Phillip Sims into the starting lineup.
After the Cavaliers took a 17-14 halftime lead at Duke, they were outscored 28-0 after halftime.
"Sims is a pretty good quarterback, a pretty good player," Francis said. "Last week was his first start in a long time, and he had the jitters. We're not really thinking he's going to come out nervous again. He was on the road last week against a pretty good football team in Duke. Now he's at home, making his first home start.
"I feel like he'll definitely be prepared for us this week."
Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr
AP Sports Writer David Ginsburg contributed from College Park, Md.