WVU has played Maryland every year since 1980, with the Mountaineers winning 12 of the last 21 games since the 1980 meeting. WVU is 6-4 at College Park over the last twenty years.
The average score in the series has been 21-17 in the favor of Maryland with the average score of games played at Maryland since 1980 is 22-21 in favor of the Terrapins. Over the last seven years Maryland is 11-5 as a home favorite with WVU being 3-15 as a road underdog. The last meeting at College Park saw Maryland embarrass the Mountaineers 33-0 in 1999.
Players to watch:
Maryland : QB Shaun Hill, RB Bruce Perry, WR Guilian Gary, WR Jafar Williams, TE Jeff Dugan, OL Melvin Fowler, LB Aaron Thompson, LB E.J. Henderson, S Tony Jackson, and S Randall Jones.
WVU - Rasheed Marshall (Wrist) Out, Cooper Rego (Neck) Probable, Grant Wiley (Hamstring) Probable
Maryland : QB RFr -Chris Kelley (Out)
WVU 2-1, 0-1
Maryland 3-0, 2-0
Sat. 9/29 12:00 p.m.
College Park , Md
Series: WVU 19-17-2
TV: MSN Tape Delay
BCS: WVU-58 Md-23
Line: Maryland -8
This match-up looks to be lopsided in favor of Maryland. The Terrapin defense ranks 10th in the nation in average points allowed (10 pts/game), ranks 16th in total yards allowed (259.7 yds/game) and 29th in rushing yards allowed (101.7 yds/game).
The Mountaineer offense ranks 70th in points scored (21.3 pts/game), 46th in total offense (389.7 yds/game). WVU must show the ability to throw the ball deep early in the game. The Mountaineers have struggled with the vertical passing game so far this year but Antonio Brown at 100% should fix this problem.
Also, Brad Lewis must be able to hit his target while rolling out. If Brad has the time to set and throw he is very capable but he must become more accurate while on the move. The Mountaineer offensive line made great strides between the first and second games but their performance was rated as "poor" by Coach Rodriguez against Kent State.
For WVU to win this game the offensive line must play a solid game in order to allow Avon Cobourne early running room which will open up the passing game even more.
WVU defense vs. Maryland offense
Maryland's offense ranks 26th nationally in scoring (33.3 pts/game), 49th in total yardage (414.0 yds/game) and 9th in rushing yards (246.0 yds/game).
While the Mountaineer defense has been improving, Maryland's Bruce Perry will present a tough challenge. The sophomore is ranked #1 in the country in rushing (175 yds/game) and has outstanding breakaway speed.
WVU's defense ranks 108th nationally against the run which means that Mountaineer fans could suffer from William Green flashbacks. On the upside, Grant Wiley will play and should play a major role in stopping Perry and the Terrapin ground game. Maryland's QB, Shaun Hill is solid QB but if WVU can stop Perry, Hill will not be able to beat the Mountaineers with the passing game.
The jury is still out on the Mountaineer special teams. There haven't been any punts blocked but the punt team is only averaging 35.4 net yards (63rd nationally), due in most part to the poor punt coverage. The kickoff return team, which looked to be a special team strength at the beginning of the season is improving game by game. The Mountaineers are averaging 20.6 yds/return (62nd nationally), and Shawn Terry's 28.6 yards per yeturn puts him atop the Big East. Maryland has out performed WVU in the return category but has struggled with field goals.
Picks to Click:
On Offense: Antonio Brown
On Defense: Grant Wiley
Stat of the week:
Since 1988 Maryland has been favored to beat WVU only 2 times, 1991 and 2001.
WVU still has a long way to go to become a solid team that can play four quality quarters of football. WVU is 5-21 when the opposing team is favored by 6 or more points since 1988. That being said, Maryland and its first year coach will send the Mountaineers back to Morgantown 2-2.
Maryland 31 – WVU 13.