Yep, Maryland actually hung tough with No. 8 West Virginia, a near four-touchdown favorite heading into today. The Mountaineers were able to come away with a 31-21 win over the Terps, but it didn’t come easy.
Maryland actually had more total offense than WVU through the first quarter courtesy of a lopsided time of possession. But the reality is Randy Edsall‘s team came out swinging while WVU looked lethargic (I blame the gray uniforms). Edsall must have also watched a ton of tape from Syracuse’s consecutive wins over the Mountaineers, because his defense got all kinds of pressure on Smith.
Speaking of Smith, he didn’t exactly have another RGIII-ish game from a touchdown/incompletion ration. He was 30-of-43 for 338 yards and three TDs, but got hit a lot — especially in the first half. It didn’t help that WVU had practically no running game (25 carries for 30 yards). Maryland was able to apply the pass rush on Smith all day at will.
As for the Mountaineers’ defense? It forced three turnovers, but the tackling was awful.
Credit Maryland for showing up big with a young, but inspired football team. Quarterback Perry Hills has been thrown into a tough situation, but played outstanding football today. And Terps receiver Stefon Diggs? He’s going to be a nightmare for defenses down the road.
West Virginia survived this one and will gladly walk out with a W as they open up Big 12 play next week against Baylor, which had its own scare Friday night against ULM.