Friday, September 14, 2007

West Virginia 31, Maryland 14

Well for a half things looked pretty good for the Terps to possibly pull off an upset of the 4th ranked team in the country. The score was 14-7 in favor of West Virginia. However, the second half was a different story and West Virginia just ran all over the Terps defense and the result was a 31-14 victory.

The Mountaineers had nine plays that gained twenty or more yards. The Terps had three and two of those came when the game was out of reach in the 4th quarter.

At least this game was not like last year's Massacre in Morgantown, when West Virginia took a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 45-24 win. The truth is West Virginia is loaded with offensive talent. They rushed for 353 yards. QB Patrick White had a 22 yard TD run and threw two scoring passes of 35 yards and 21 yards. Steve Slaton (pictured above), 26 carries, 137 yards and 3 TD runs. Noel Devine had 5 carries for 136 yards including runs of 76 yards and 31 yards.

Maryland was better this year but still not good enough.

With that said, the experience of trying to stop a Pat White, Steve Slaton, Noel Devine, etc. will pay huge dividends as this season progresses. West Virginia is a top-5 team. Maryland will not see another team this highly ranked the rest of the way. After last seasons rout, the Terps rebounded and clawed their way to a 9-win season, including a bowl victory. We'll see how 2007 goes.

Game recap here

Mike Wise's Washington Post column here

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