BlueGoldNews.com selects the outstanding performers in West Virginia's 45-24 beating of Maryland.
For the second time this season, sophomore superback Steve Slaton takes home offensive player of the game honors. Slaton ran for 195 yards on 21 carries, and a pair of touchdowns against the Terps.
Under the bright lights of a Thursday night national TV audience, Slaton made a memorable first impression on Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award voters with a pair of long touchdown runs (one from 38 and one from 37 yards away.) Afterwards, Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen said "I hope he wins the Heisman. What else can you say."
Defensively, the award goes to first-time starter John Holmes. The Rockledge, Fla. native finished Thursday night's game with five tackles (two solo, three assisted), including a six yard TFL.
Holmes, who originally played linebacker as a freshman in 2005, started at the spur position in place of Charles Pugh, who started both the Eastern Washington and Marshall games. He was also successful in getting to Maryland quarterback Sam Hollenbach on several occasions, forcing the senior signal caller to throw the ball away.
The first game ball goes to defensive end James Ingram, who like Holmes was a first time starter. Ingram proved to be effective not only in the pass rush, but in pass coverage as well. The redshirt freshman from Cleveland, Oh. was credited with three pass breakups, and blew up several potential Maryland screens.
Slot receiver Darius Reynaud had one of the best games of his career. The junior caught a Pat White touchdown pass in the first quarter, and closed the first half scoring with a 96 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. It was the first kickoff returned for a touchdown by the Mountaineers since Pacman Jones pulled the trick at Boston College in 2003.
Tight end Brad Palmer gets the third and final game ball this week. The senior, who is a Maryland native, recovered a Slaton fumble in the end zone for his first career touchdown...at ANY level. Palmer was originally a defensive lineman for the Mountaineers, but has played tight end and fullback for the bulk of his career in the gold and blue.