Maryland and West Virginia have played one another 49 times since 1919, with the upcoming meeting being the half-century mark. Obviously, winning this one would probably go down in history as one of the better victories, but there are still plenty others we should acknowledge. Lamont Jordan’s 160+ yards in ’99, Brian Cummings essentially playing small ball in ’95. The Scott Milanovich shootout of ’93. All great ones, all deserving of their own post.
I went through pretty much every game log and recap I could find, and tried to pick out three of the best games. In the interest of being interesting, I decided to narrow it down to the past ten years, as very nearly no one was alive for some of the older games. The list was incredibly tricky to make, so apologies in advance if you disagree. Leave your favorite memories in the comments section, and maybe I’ll update it.
3.) September 17, 2011, Capital One at Byrd, College Park, Md – WVU – 37 Maryland – 31
Our first loss shows up on the list, but I’ll be damned if this wasn’t one of the better games of the Edsall era. It’s one of those games that makes you wonder what might have been. In his first season with the Terps and fresh off a victory against Miami, Edsall got a chance to shut down West Virginia and end the five game losing skid. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but the game was pure excitement.
Maryland may have scored the first three points, but West Virginia rattled off the next 27 to eventually take a 17 point halftime lead. The game looked pretty much over after Geno Smith and Stedman Bailey connected for a score to start the third quarter and take a 34-10 lead, but then the magic happened.
Davin Meggett ended up going ham, rushing for 113 yards and negating Danny O’Brien’s three interceptions (one of which was a pick six). But it was the oft-forgotten D.J. Adams who ran for two scores and 64 yards to guide Maryland back from the brink of death. Unfortunately, a Danny O interception at the West Virginia 35 with about a minute left sealed the Terps fate, and Maryland lost nine of their next ten games.
2.) October 5, 2002, Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV – Maryland 48 WVU 17
What’s not to like about this game? QB Scott McBrien, a Maryland native, attends rival West Virginia his freshman year and puts up some impressive stats. He then decides to transfer to Maryland, where he has to sit out a year. His return game in 2002 to Milan Puskar? An absolute blowout, 48-17, that signaled the Mountaineer Killer had arrived in College Park.
McBrien threw for 162 yards and a touchdown, but he also ran for 27 and a score as well, which was more than enough to get the Terps over the hump. His lone TD reception was also a premonition of sorts, because it went to the legendary Jafar Williams for 45 yards (more on this duo later).
Josh Allem rushed for 117 yards on the ground, and Chris Downs gave the Terps another 67. West Virginia had 186 yards on the ground and 138 through the air, but couldn’t do anything against the Terps. Rasheed Marshall was just starting the trend of dominant West Virginia quarterbacks, and rushed for 33 yards but failed to lead his team to victory.
With McBrien, Maryland won at Milan Puskar (something they haven’t done since). West Virginia, on the other hand, never beat McBrien during his career at Maryland. Unfortunately, since he left it’s been nothing but L’s for the Terps.
1.) January 1, 2004, Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville, FL, Gator Bowl – #23 Maryland 41 – #20 WVU 7
I think everyone knew this one was going here. This game wasn’t good because it was a competitive game; this game was great because it was 1.) a steamrolling victory 2.) against our rival 3.) in the Gator Bowl 4.) the final game of the season 5.) versus an opponent ranked higher than us 6.) with a quarterback who transferred from West Virginia to Maryland and was playing the last game of his career. Catch all that?
Many fans will remember this one more than most because it wasn’t even ten years ago, and it’s still relatively fresh in our memories. I’ll remember it because I’ll never forget the fact that West Virginia was 8-4 that year and ranked higher than Maryland despite the fact that the Terps had more wins (9) and already dismantled the Mountaineers 34-7 earlier in the season. It was a snub, and the entire team realized it.
But what better way to quiet the critics than with a convincing victory that proved the Terps deserved to be in an even better bowl game? McBrien made sure of that, throwing for 381 yards and three touchdowns during his final game in a Maryland uni. If you can’t remember what started the blowout that game, here you go:
Jafar Williams went right back at West Virginia for 65 yards and two touchdowns, cementing his status as the yang to McBrien’s WVU killing yin. Jo Jo Walker also had 51 yards and a score, while Steve Suter had 84 yards rushing. We can’t forget, either, about Bruce Perry. The big man finished up with 67 yards, and while he wasn’t the main factor for winning, he was the big reason Maryland rushed for 141 yards on the ground.
Since this win, of course, Maryland hasn’t won since. The Curse of Steve Slaton has yet to abate (he arrived at West Virginia in 2005), but with hope it’ll be over this season