A nightmare first half did the Maryland Terrapins in Saturday as they fell to an explosive West Virginia Mountaineers team 31-17.
West Virginia surged to a 28-0 lead courtesy of four touchdown passes from quarterback Geno Smith. Smith tossed two first quarter scores to running back Tavon Austin and then connected with Stedman Bailey on his next two.
Smith had a tremendous day, going 19-29 for 268 yards and four TD passes while the Mountaineer rushing attack was led by senior star RB Noel Devine who had 131 yards on 27 carries.
The Mountaineers had 469 yards of total offense and possessed the ball for an astounding 37:02.
On the other hand, Maryland had just 217 yards of offense and rushed the ball for minus-10 yards for the game. They struggled to move the ball at all offensively, but finally got on the board in the third quarter as Jamarr Robinson threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to receiver Torrey Smith.
Smith scored again later in the third quarter on an 80-yard TD reception and finished the game with three catches for 149 yards, over half of Maryland’s offensive output.
Robinson and Danny O’Brien were sacked a combined eight times as West Virginia turned on the puss rush after making Maryland completely one-dimensional. The Terps were in passing mode for most of the game and West Virginia’s rushers reaped the benefits.
After Travis Baltz hit a 35-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, Maryland appeared to have a chance as they trailed 28-17, but West Virginia went on a long, 18-play drive capped off by a Tyler Bitancurt field goal to kill most of the clock and give the Mountaineers a 31-17 lead, which was the final.
Maryland was unable to answer as they lost for the first time this season. They are now 2-1 on the year while West Virginia improves to 3-0.