Common Opponents: None to date
Terrapins to watch:
QB-Scott McBrien, P-Brooks Barnard, TE-Jeff Dugan, LB-E.J Henderson, OL-Todd Wike, OL-Matt Crawford, KR-Steve Suter, RB-Chris Downs, DE- Durrand Roundtree.
WVU - Anthony Mims (Hamstring) Out, Darnell Glover (Knee) Out, A. J. Nastasi, (Ankle) Out, Scott Fleming (Head) Probable, Tim Love (Back)Probable, Arthur Harrison (Ankle) Questionable.
Maryland- Bruce Perry (Groin) Doubtful, Derrick Fenner (Ankle) Out.
WVU 0-0, 3-1
UM 0-1, 3-2
Sat. 10/5 Noon
Series: WVU 19-18-2
TV: ESPN 2
BCS: WVU-40 - UM-60
Stats & Trends
Can WVU continue to dominate the line of scrimmage? Can Rasheed Marshall overcome an injury to his throwing hand? Can the WVU receivers prove that they should not be overlooked? These questions will be answered on Saturday and if all of these answers are 'yes', the Mountaineers should get their 4th victory of the year.
The bad news is that All-World linebacker E.J. Henderson is on his way to Morgantown and will try to answer the bell when Avon comes calling. Henderson will have some help in stopping WVU's rushing attack in the form of Junior linebacker Leon Joe who is having a solid season as well. The Terrapin linebackers will be some of the best the blue and gold will face all year.
The Terrapins also have an aggressive defensive line, lead by Senior Durrand Roundtree, which has continued to put pressure on opposing quarterback all season. Lance Nimmo and Company will need to bring their 'A' game this game in order to give Marshall time to find open receivers and open holes for WVU Superback duo of Avon Cobourne and Quincy Wilson.
By the numbers:
Maryland ranks 48th in stopping the run, 61st in pass efficiency defense and 33rd in total yards allowed. WVU ranks 1st in rushing, 91st in passing and 2nd in total yards.
Advantage : Push
WVU defense vs. Terps offense
This should be an interesting weekend for Maryland starting quarterback Scott McBrien who returns to Morgantown wearing red and white instead of the blue and gold that he wore while playing for the Mountaineers. Will this be a distraction or motivation for McBrien?
I'm guessing that the ex-Mountaineer will be focused, but unfortunately for Scotty, this is not the same Mountaineer defense that had a hard time stopping opposing offenses for the past few years. WVU's overall team speed has improved along with a new scheme that will cause McBrien to throw at least one interception.
Maryland's starting running back on Saturday will be senior Chris Downs, who has played well in the absence of Terrapins star Bruce Perry but has averaged only 64.2 yards per game. Downs will need to break the century mark in order for the Terps to extend their winning streak to 3 games. Sophomore Jason Crawford has also contributed at running back for Maryland but has been slowed by an injury.
By the numbers:
Maryland ranks 61st in rushing, 74th in passing and 78th in total yards. WVU ranks 23rd in stopping the run, 84th in pass efficiency defense and 34th in total yards allowed.
Advantage: West Virginia
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The Mountaineers continue to struggle in most aspects of special teams. Against East Carolina, WVU missed an extra point along with allowing a fake punt to gain a big chunk of yardage and a first down. On the other hand the Terrapins have had solid special teams play and look to continue that trend on Saturday.
Leading the Terrapin's solid special teams play has been Ray Guy Award favorite, punter Brook Barnard and kicker Nick Novak. Novak has connected on 5 of 7 field goals attempts and all 12 extra points.
By the numbers:
The Mountaineers rank 23rd and 85th in the nation on kickoff and punt returns, respectively while the Terrapins rank 20th and 48th in the same categories.
Picks to Click:
Stat of the week:
WVU is 27-7 as a home favorite. Maryland is 4-27 as a road underdog. WVU has 7 players that played their high school football in Maryland, 4 of the 7 are starters. Maryland has no players from West Virginia. The Mountaineers are 6-9-1 on October 5th. Maryland has not won two straight games against WVU since the 1994-1995 seasons. WVU beat the Terrapins three years in a row (1996-1998).
This is a pivotal game for WVU's bowl hopes. If the Mountaineers can get by Maryland they are almost assured of a bowl game. If the Terrapins shell the Mountaineers, WVU will need a victory over Boston College, Syracuse or Pittsburgh to have a chance at post season action.
The Mountaineers will use a balanced offensive attack and a defensive game plan that hopes to introduce Scott McBrien to WVU's new AstroPlay surface to defeat the defending ACC champions.
WVU - 27 Maryland - 23