Maryland is still playing with West Virginia in Morgantown, scoring early but conceding late as they trail 24-14 against the #8 Mountaineers.
The Terps started the quarter with a third-and-four from their own 41st, and Perry hills converted a big jailbreak screen to Matt Furstenburg for a 29-yard conversion to start it out. On a third-and-eight three plays later, Hills completed another screen to Justus Pickett, this one going for 14 yards. Three plays later on another third-and-eight, Hills threaded a beautiful pass over the middle, finding Marcus Leak in the end zone for a 12-yard score, tying the game up at 14. Maryland came into the game 14/40 on third downs on the season, but started out 4/6, including those three key conversions.
West Virginia moved down the field gradually, with 50 yards passing from Geno Smith and 17 yards on the ground from the team setting up a 3rd-and-goal from Maryland's eight yard-line. After two offsetting penalties led to a replay of the down, A.J. Francis broke through on a three-man rush to take down Smith for a sack and a 12-yard loss. The Mountaineers had to settle for a 37-yard field goal from Tyler Bitancurt, only the second time this year they didn't score a touchdown in the red zone, giving them a 17-14 lead.
After three straight three-and-outs, West Virginia got the ball back and got to work. Three straight passes to Tavon Austin, J.D. Woods, Stedman Bailey gave the Mountaineers the ball on the Terps' 24, and West Virginia used their final challenge (unsuccessfully) on a ball that Bailey dropped near the goal line after excellent coverage from Dexter McDougle.
On the next play, Smith found a wide open Austin in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown. Jeremiah Johnson absolutely blew the assignment, letting Austin go right by him for the easy score. The Mountaineers expanded their lead to 24-14, and they will take it into halftime.
Right before the half, Perry Hills was hit hard from behind on a play that had already been whistled dead, and had to be taken off injured. Devin Burns came in and ran for a first down (fumbling it out of bounds at the end), and Hills was able to come back in immediately. Hills completed two 15-yard passes, one to Diggs and one to Kevin Dorsey, but Brad Craddock missed the 41-yarder.
Hills enters the half 14/20 for 164 yards and two scores, Brandon Ross has eleven rushes for 24 yards, and Albert Reid has four carries for 20 yards. Diggs has 126 all-purpose yards on eight touches, Furstenburg has three catches for 54 yards, and Dorsey has three receptions for 31 yards.
For West Virginia, Geno Smith is 14/23 for 209 yards and two scores, and Tavon Austin has six receptions for 113 yards and two scores.
The teams are nearly even in yardage - West Virginia has 213, Maryland has 212, and the Terps end the half five of nine on third down conversions.