Key Moment - Maryland

Owen Schmitt provided some of the biggest key moments in West Virginia's huge 31-19 win at Maryland on Saturday.

The fullback, a Faifax, Va. native, became the third WVU rusher to lead the team in yards in as many games in his homecoming of sorts.

Schmitt's involvement came when Maryland's defense was badly tiring. The 6-3, 250-pounder used his size and freshness to pound on the Terps when they were at their weakest.

Schmitt, a transfer from Division III Wisconsin-River Falls, finished with a career-high 80 yards on six carries with one touchdown.

"You know, it's interesting that I actually was going to transfer to Maryland or West Virginia," Schmitt said. "The Maryland coaches didn't appear interested."

Schmitt's toughness countered the sudden speed attack (Coach Rich Rodriguez upped the tempo when he sensed UM tiring) with power bursts up the middle. The totes badly fooled Maryland, who had not seen Schmitt carry the ball all game.

After Schmitt's first carry Pat White (three of five for 29 yards) found Jason Colson on a wheel route that also fooled Maryland. The toss to Colson and the first reverse to Darius Reynaud setup Schmitt, who put WVU ahead 14-6 on a three-yard run with 14:52 left in the game. It was the first touchdown of his career.

Schmitt then really began to gouge Maryland on the next WVU drive. He ran for 19 and 35 yards, slicing the Terrapin front and carrying linebackers. Pernell Williams dove in from a yard out with 10:41 left to extend the Mountaineer lead to 21-6.

"We started to put the two big guys (Schmitt and Gwaltney) in there and run downhill on them," offensive coordinator and running backs coach Calvin Magee said. "We just said lets go downhill. I am so proud of Owen. He came from a small school and just wanted a chance. That's special."

Schmit's teammates wore down the Terps with 237 yards on the ground while Schmitt began to romp over a gasping UM squad that ended up being on the field for almost twice as long as WVU.

"We could not finish drives early," Schmitt said. "Come the fourth quarter Rod decided to pound the ball with iso. The line did a great job, and Gwaltney took the linebackers. They made me look good."

The clincher: "Hey, yeah, it's kinda fun beating the ACC," Schmitt said.


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