WVU - Maryland Game Preview

WVU travels to College Park, Maryland looking for their first win in Byrd Stadium since 1997.

BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Series: 21-20-2 UM
Sat 9/17/05, Noon.
College Park, MD

Byrd Stadium
Record: 2-0
Poll Rank: NR
Last Game
Wofford 35-7

Rtn Lettermen: 27
Rtn Starters: 17
Click for College Park, Maryland Forecast
Record: 1-1
Poll Rank: NR
Last Game
Clemson 24-28
Rtn Lettermen: 39
Rtn Starters: 13
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2005 Schedule
First Meeting: 1919
Last Meeting: 2004
Press Release
Season Stats
2005 Schedule

Common Opponents to Date:



WVU - Erick Phillips (Knee) Out, Rayshawn Bolden (Foot) Probable, Darius Reynaud (Shoulder) Probable

Maryland - Unavailable

Game Outlook:

WVU offense vs. Maryland defense

Game Info
WVU 2-0, 1-0
UMD 1-1, 0-1
Sat 9/17/05 Noon
Byrd Stadium
Series: 21-20-2 UMD
TV: Jefferson Pilot
Sar: WVU-16: UMD: 42
Line: UMD -5
Stats & Trends
The Terrapin defense is lead by All-American candidate D'Qwell Jackson (6-1, 231). Jackson was a finalist for the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award in 2004 and has quickly established himself as one of the top defensive players in the country.

From the middle linebacking position, Jackson has racked up 34 tackles and one sack in just two games. Joining the senior at linebacker will be William Kershaw (6-3, 232) and David Holloway (6-2, 220). The combo has totalled 22 tackles in the first two games.

Maryland starts a young defensive line, comprised of one freshman, two sophomores and a junior. Manning the end positions will be Jeremy Navarre (6-4, 250) and Jermaine Lemons (6-3, 250). This duo has combined for 13 tackles.

Conrad Bolston (6-3, 285) and Jack Griffin (6-7, 276) will start at the tackle positions. Bolston has been active so far this season logging one tackle for a loss and one sack while Griffin has been used more as a hole plugger.

The Maryland defensive backfield could be the fastest that the Mountaineers will face all season. Starting corners Gerrick McPhearson (5-10, 194) and Josh Wilson (5-10, 182) have both recorded sub 4.4 40 yard times, 4.21 and 4.35 respectively. Neither has recorded an interception, with Wilson owning one pass breakup and 10 tackles.

Manning the safety spots will be Milton Harris (5-11, 195) and J.J. Justice (6-2, 217). The hard hitting safeties have combined on 12 tackles to date. Look for Harris to be sent on a safety blitz a few times during the game

By The Numbers :
WVU is ranked 32nd in total offense (425 yds/game), 8th in rushing offense (255.5 yds/game) and 93rd in passing offense (169.50 yds/game).

Maryland is ranked 36th in total defense (317.5 yds/game), 84th in rushing defense (180 yds/game) and 93rd in passing efficiency defense (149.07.15 rating).

Advantage: Push

WVU defense vs. Maryland offense

The 2005 Terripan offensive attack will be lead by junior signal caller Stan Hollenbach (6-5, 218). Hollenbach has completed 63.8% of his passes (37-58) including three touchdowns and three interceptions. His quarterback rating is 143.66, good for 38th in the country.

Joining Hollenbach in the backfield will be Mario Merrills (5-10, 203) and Ricardo Dickerson (6-1, 247). Merrills has totalled 170 yards and one touchdown this season. Dickerson is a load at 247 pounds and is used mostly for blocking in running situations.

The Terrapins' main receiving threat is, Vernon Davis (6-3, 253), the starting tight end. Davis has eight receptions for 166 yards and one touchdown on the young season, and presents matchup problems for any defense.

The starting wide receivers will be Jo Jo Walker (5-9, 169) and Derrick Fenner (6-0, 193). Walker and Fenner have combined for eight receptions for 103 yards.

Starting on the offensive line will be two seniors and three sophomores. Derrek Miller (6-7, 275) and Brandon Nixon (6-6, 314) will man the tackle positions while Donnie Woods (6-3, 291) and Andrew Crummey (6-5, 294) will hold down the guard duties. Senior Ryan McDonald (6-2, 275) will start at center.

Miller is a converted tight end while Nixon is the most talented of the offensive lineman. McDonald, a Maryland native, tranfered to Maryland after spending one season at Concord College (WV).

By The Numbers:
WVU is ranked 1st in total defense (128.5 yds/game), 8th in rushing defense (48 yds/game) and 2nd in passing efficiency defense (61.65).

Maryland is ranked 59th in total offense (385.5 yds/game), 70th in rushing offense (133 yds/game) and 45th in passing offense (252.50 yds/game).

Advantage: WVU

WVU special teams vs. Maryland special teams

The Terrapin special teams have been very solid through the first two games of the season.

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Starting punter Adam Podlesh (6-0, 192) ranks as the nations best with an average of 48.2 yards per punt, while place kicker Dan Ennis (5-11, 154) has been perfect, connecting on all four field goal attempts and three extra points.

Jo Jo Walker will be Maryland's main threat when returning kickoffs and punts. Walker has averaged 23.7 yards per kick return, good for 37th in the nation. He hasn't experienced that level of success on punt returns, averaging only 3.4 yards on five tries.

By The Numbers:
WVU is ranked 50th in net punting (35.38 yds/punt), 10th in kick returns (33.33 yds/return) and 40th in punt returns (11 yds/return).

Maryland is ranked 69th in net punting (33 yds/punt), 31st in kick returns (24.63 yds/return) and 94th in punt returns (3.4 yds/return)

Advantage: Maryland

Picks to Click:

On Offense: Owen Schmitt

On Defense: Jay Henry

Totally Useless Facts:

  • Bobby Sheahin is the latest WVU quarterback to transfer to the University of Maryland, though he will not see action.

  • Ralph Friedgen is working in his 36th season as a college/ pro football coach.

  • The Mountaineers have not lost four straight games at College Park since the 1949, 1951, 1959 and 1966 seasons.

Be sure to check out our Stats & Trends section for lots more match up information!


If this game were being played in Morgantown, WVU would win by a touchdown but with the game at College Park, this one is a toss up. The Mountaineers have not won in Byrd Staidum since 1997, and under Coach Friedgen the Terrapins have outscored WVU 66-27 at home. If the Blue and Gold can avoid turnovers and can recover a Maryland fumble or two, the Mountaineers should come out on top.

WVU - 21 Maryland - 20

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