Sat 9/17/11 12:00 PM
College Park, MD
Norfolk St W 55-12
Miami W 32-24
Series: WVU 24-21-2
First Meeting: 1919
Last Meeting: 2010
The suspension of Maryland senior receivers Quintin McCree and Ronnie Tyler will have an impact on the game, but it's not an automatic guarantee of a Mountaineer win. How many times have we seen a team overcome the loss of a star player and put forth a winning effort?
McCree had seven catches for 39 yards in Maryland's opener, while Tyler had six for 43 and a touchdown. They were two of six Terrapins to catch a pass in the win over Miami.
Tavon Austin is first in the country in kickoff return yardage, averaging 48 yards per runback. He's also fourth in the land in punt returns with 22 markers per try. Although it will be next to impossible for him to maintain those averages all season, his status at the top of the charts highlights his importance to WVU's resurgent return game.
In addition to head coach Randy Edsall, who came from Connecticut, the Maryland staff has a couple of other coaches who have some background facing WVU. Offensive coordinator Gary Crowton was at LSU last year, while defensive line coach Greg Gattuso spent the previous six seasons at Pitt. Both of the assistants are formere head coaches.
WHO ARE THEY, SYRACUSE BASKETBALL?
The Terps do not have to leave Maryland to play a game until the second weekend of October and play eight of their 12 regular-season contests in the state. Maryland is playing its opening four games at home for the first time in the modern era (first seven at home in 1911).
In addition to the seven games in Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, the Terps face Notre Dame at FedExField in Landover, Md., on Nov. 12. Although that's classified as a Fighting Irish home game, there will be plenty of Terp fans on hand. The Terps went 5-1 at home last season and 6-1 in the state of Maryland (victory over Navy in Baltimore).
We're always fascinated with stats that have some symmetry, or even themselves out, or provide a different look at the numbers. While these often don't have much impact on the way the game plays out, they are fun to look at. So, in that spirit:
The word "uniform" is used no fewer than 17 times in Maryland's game notes for the WVU contest.
West Virginia is the only team in the nation that has neither gained nor lost a turnover in 2011. Only four other schools haven't given the ball away so far (Cincinnati, San Diego State, Texas A&M and Wisconsin), while just three other schools don't have a takeaway (Nevada, North Carolina, UAB).
Getting to the plus side of turnover margin is a big key, but WVU's status as the only team to play two turnover free games brings up an interesting point. Would you take a breakeven mark in the turnover column in every game this year? Given an even number of chances, would you be confident in West Virginia's ability to outscore its opponents? Of course, the likelihood of that playing out in every game is remote, but the feeling here is that if the Mountaineers protect the ball and don't have a big negative in this statistic, they will have a good chanced in every game they play.
Maryland owns the nation's longest consecutive games streak without having a punt blocked. Florida State is the last team to turn the trick, but that was back on Nov. 13, 1999. Since then, the Terps have played 138 games without suffering a rejection.
That streak could be due in part to the Terps' run of punters. Over the past ten seasons, priot to 2011 Maryland has had just three full-time punters and three long snappers.