Sat 9/17/05, Noon.
College Park, MD
Poll Rank: NR
Rtn Lettermen: 27
Rtn Starters: 17
Poll Rank: NR
Rtn Lettermen: 39
Rtn Starters: 13
Last Meeting: 2004
TACKLING THE PROBLEM
Last year, cornerback Adam Jones led WVU in tackles – an almost unheard of stat line for a team with a solid winning record playing in a New Year's Day bowl. This year, however, the tackling stats tell a different story.
West Virginia has ten players with five or more tackles, and has guys from all over the field making plays. Linebacker Jay Henry tops the team with 14 stops, but is joined in the top ten by three defensive linemen, two additional linebackers and four defensive backs. The fact that stops are coming from a number of different players shows that the Mountaineers are better balanced defensively, and have more players able to contribute on that side of the ball this year.
One final thought – don't get too caught up in sheer tackling numbers. If WVU continues to play the brand of defense it exhibited in its first two games, its number will be down, if only because the Mountaineers will have allowed fewer plays (with fewer chances for tackles) than a season ago.
TOO CLOSE TO CALL
With a win, West Virginia could even the all-time series record at 21-21-2. The last 16 games show an 8-8 record for each team. Also, each team owns identical 11-9-2 records on the home field of its opponent. The one neutral field win belongs to the Terps in the 2004 Gator Bowl.
The two ties in the series came in back-to-back seasons – 1944 and 1945.
OLD HOME WEEK
Rich Rodriguez and Ralph Friedgen are two of just 19 Division 1-A head coaches who are currently at their alma maters. Later this year, Rodriguez will face two other coaches (Frank Beamer – Virginia Tech and Dave Wannstedt - Pittsburgh) who hold that distinction.
UM 1-1, 0-1
|Sat 9/17/05 Noon|
|Series: UM 21-20-2|
|TV: Jefferson Pilot|
|BCS: WVU-na: UM-na|
|Line: UM -3|
|Stats & Trends|
Pat White became the tenth quarterback in West Virginia history to rush for more than 100 yards a game, when he piled up 107 against Wofford. The first to turn the trick was Robert Barnum against Boston College, Penn State and Washington and Jefferson in 1925. There have only been 20 100-yard rushing games by WVU quarterbacks in school history.
Now, the questions.
Have two quarterbacks, other than Adam Bednarik and White, lead the team in rushing in consecutive weeks, as the pair did in the first two games this year?
Have two quarterbacks ever been 1-2 in WVU's final season rushing statistics? Some sort of prize to the person who can provide a definitive answer.
MAKING IT COUNT
One area WVU has to improve in to bring a win home from College Park is red zone efficiency. Rodriguez said as much in his press conference earlier this week, and WVU's current numbers bear out that concern.
|UM Message Board||Official Site|
Against a team like Maryland, no scoring chance from that range can be wasted, and the TD percentage needs to be at least 80%.
Looking for one last item to help you feel better about WVU's chances? Well, this isn't the item to be reading. Maryland punter Adam Podlesh is averaging 48.2 yards per kick, and only the fact that's he's one kick short of the minimum number of punts needed to qualify is keeping him out of the top spot in the NCAA punting statistics.
WVU, while improving a bit from a year ago, trails that mark by eight yards with a 40.6 yards per kick average. A loss of eight yards per punt exchange could make a huge difference in field position over the course of the game.