Holgorsen: Maryland A Much Needed Test

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Dana Holgorsen knows what's in store for West Virginia in October, namely three road games in four weeks against arguably the conference's top four teams. But the focus for now turns to Maryland, which seems a much stronger foe than a week ago after a solid win over South Florida this past weekend.

Holgorsen, below, discusses Maryland's potent special teams, a defense that appears to be growing more stout against the run and how the Mountaineers will approach an offense that made significant strides under quarterback Caleb Rowe in te victory against USF. Holgorsen also updated the health of Jared Barber, saying the linebacker would play, and addressed the goals entering this week, and what the team accomplished during the bye.

  • Among the key talking points was, as expected, how WVU would handle UM returner Will Likely. Likely has two returns for scores this season, but was bottled against USF. Likely burned West Virginia two years ago for a key score, and the Mountaineers are welcoming the challenge while refusing to kick away from the corner.
  • Holgorsen called the shutout loss in Baltimore two seasons ago the worst he has experienced as a coach, and detailed the offensive differences between that team and the 2014 unit, and then the 2014 offense and this year's, while breaking down the a Terrapin defense allowing four touchdowns a game.
  • Holgorsen also compared and contrasted Rowe, a less mobile quarterback, with former starter Perry Hills, who was a more athletic run threat, but lacked Rowe's ability in the passing game. UM threw the ball more against South Florida, while simplifying schemes that Holgorsen believes will allow them to play faster.
  • Holgorsen also broke down the kicking game for both sides, and compared WVU's Josh Lambert with Maryland's Brad Craddock in what some pundits are calling the best early special teams match-up of the season.

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