Maryland pours it on WVU
Final: Maryland 37, West Virginia 0
BALTIMORE--Do you remember New Year’s Day 2004? Scott McBrien beating West Virginia in the Gator Bowl?
That was the last time the Terrapins had beaten the Mountaineers, when most of this current Maryland team was in their teens or younger, working through math problems in elementary or middle school and likely not even thinking about high-major college football.
But that changed on Saturday.
Almost a decade of a one-sided border rivalry crumbled at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, as quarterback C.J. Brown completed 16-of-25 passes for 217 yards in a dominating 37-0 Maryland win over West Virginia.
Rained poured down for much of the second half, causing a flurry of turnovers on both sides. In all, there were eight turnovers between the two teams, two for Maryland and six for West Virginia.
The Mountaineers ended up with as many turnovers as first downs (6).
With the victory, Maryland remains undefeated with a perfect 4-0 record.
Game recap: After news of season-ending surgery for senior cornerback Dexter McDougle, there were questions this week about the viability of Maryland’s now-young secondary.
With the help of a dominating pass rush, Maryland surrendered just 131 total yards and held West Virginia redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress to 11-of-22 passing for 62 yards and two interceptions.
Cornerbacks Will Likely and Isaac Goins had no issues with West Virginia’s pass-heavy spread offense, due in part to Marcus Whitfield, Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, and Matt Robinson getting pressure on the quarterback.
On the offensive side of the ball, Maryland’s versatility was on display. Star receiver Stefon Diggs was not featured, catching just two passes for 13 yards, but he didn’t need to be on Saturday.
Brown was an equal opportunity distributor of the football, with seven different receivers catching a pass. Deon Long led the receiving corps with six catches for 98 yards. Tight end Dave Stinebaugh caught his first touchdown of the season. It was his only catch of the game.
Running back Brandon Ross led the way in the rushing game with 67 yards on 20 carries, including a touchdown.
Key moment: This game began as an exercise in offensive futility, or, if you prefer, defensive dominance.
Two false start penalties halted any sort of Maryland progress as it was backed up deep in its own territory. After an early first down, West Virginia punted on consecutive drives after a similar lack of production.
But that changed with close to six minutes to play in the first quarter, when West Virginia returner Ronald Carswell fumbled a punt from Nate Renfro that was recovered by Maryland safety A.J. Hendy.
It gave Maryland a first down at the West Virginia 24-yard line. Three plays later, Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown connected with tight end Dave Stinebaugh in the back of the end zone for the game’s first points and a 7-0 lead.
Then the rest followed from there.
Terps Offensive Player of the Game: C.J. Brown, quarterback (16-of-25, 217 yards 1 TD | 14 carries, 26 yards, 1 TD)
As it did in the first three weeks of the season, Maryland’s offensive universe once again centered around quarterback C.J. Brown and his versatility out of the read option formation.
Brown spread the ball around evenly, as mentioned. Though his numbers on the ground weren't as impressive as they have been in previous games, it remained an option that kept West Virginia from dropping defenders into coverage and taking away the passing game.
His most impressive drive of the game was one of his last. Helping to burn 8:16 of game time in the fourth quarter, Brown led Maryland on a drive of more than 80 yards, culminating in a touchdown that put the Terrapins ahead, 37-0.
Terps Defensive Players of the Game: A.J. Hendy (2 fumble recoveries, 1 INT), L.A. Goree, linebacker (9 tackles, 1 forced fumble)
Goree was one of the parts of a Maryland defensive machine that ran as smoothly as it could have on Saturday afternoon.
West Virginia QB Ford Childress was never comfortable in the pocket and, assisted by the rain, turnovers were the downfall of the Mountaineers on Saturday and Goree had a hand in it. He forced one of the fumbles and his part in the pass rush helped to force the others.
By making Childress unsteady in the pocket, Maryland's young secondary was less stressed and able to have success against the air raid offense.
Hendy was active in the passing lanes and his interception return for a touchdown set the game in motion.
Next Up: Maryland has a bye week coming up before it travels to Florida State on Oct. 5 to open ACC play.