Sep 14, 2013; East Hartford, CT, USA; Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Stefon Diggs (1) celebrates his touchdown against the Connecticut Huskies with teammates during the second half at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
The last time Maryland had beaten West Virginia, George Bush was the Head of State, Facebook had just been created, and the iPhone hadn’t even been invented. The Maryland Terrapins steamrolled the West Virginia Mountaineers for 30 points in the first half, and in doing so secured their first victory over the team in nearly 10 years, winning 37-0. On a day where torrential rain marred most of the second half, the Terps defense ensured that no Mountaineer would step foot in their end zone in spite of multiple turnovers by the offense.
The Terrapins defense was stout all game, applying pressure to Ford Childress and forcing him into a two turnover game. But it wasn’t just Childress who struggled, as the Terrapins forced the Mountaineers into a seven turnover game. AJ Hendy was perhaps the most effective Terrapin of the night with a fumble recovery in the first quarter that resulted in a score, and an interception on the very next drive for six points. Then, late in the fourth quarter with West Virginia pressing close to the Terrapins end zone, Hendy forced another fumble. But Hendy just ensured the scoring began, because Cudjoe-Virgil helped add another score as he intercepted West Virginia at their own six yard line that led to a score as well to cap off the first quarter.
West Virginia finished the first half with only 65 total yards of offense and seven penalties. At one point, the Mountaineers punter had more yards than their entire team combined.
But if you thought those statistics were laughable, the second half was considerably more comical. As the rain moved in and began to come down in swaths, neither team proved able to hold onto the ball for much time. The Terrapins forced two fumbles, while West Virginia did the exact same thing.
At one point in the third quarter, Brandon Ross fumbled the ball at the Maryland 24 after being taken down for a loss, but on the very next play L.A. Goree forced Charles Sims into a fumble. But it didn’t end there, because the next series the Terrapins fumbled yet again at their own 28 yard line, which West Virginia kindly handed back to them by fumbling on the next drive.
In all only the Terrapins managed to get on the scoreboard in the second half as fans retreated back to their cars to avoid the rain and return to the confines of their dry homes.
About the only solid point for the Terrapins offense was Deon Long, who had six receptions for 98 yards against the school he had formerly committed to. Long had over 100 yards in his first game at Maryland, but didn’t do much during the next two. West Virginia, though, had no answer for him even though he was playing with a balky back that he injured twice during the game.
CJ Brown did manage to pick up two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing), but couldn’t get the offense doing too much as they were forced to settle for field goals three times. Brandon Ross was solid if a bit unspectacular, failing to average more than 4 yards per carry.
The last time Maryland shut out West Virginia it was back in ’99, where the Terps won 33-0.
In all, this marks the Terrapins first 4-0 start in over a decade, and most definitely places them on the short list of teams to watch. Next week, they won’t be afforded the luxury of a home game, as they travel to Florida State in what will be a matchup of two undefeated Atlantic division foes.
Stay tuned for more analysis!