West Virginia defense shuts down Maryland in 45-6 rout

West Virginia crushed Maryland 45-6 in Morgantown to finish the nonconference portion of the schedule undefeated.

Here's more on the Mountaineers' impressive performance:

What the win means for West Virginia: The West Virginia defense continued to look like the best defensive unit in the Big 12, while Skyler Howard played another efficient game at quarterback. The Mountaineers have a chance to introduce themselves as Big 12 title contenders next weekend in a huge Big 12 tilt at Oklahoma.

What the loss means for Maryland: So much for that improved passing attack. Caleb Rowe, who got the call at quarterback last week, completed just 10 of 27 passes and got picked off four times, before being replaced by Daxx Garman. The Terps won't go bowling unless they get better quarterback play, whether that's from Rowe or Garman.

The game turned when: Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year candidate Karl Joseph set the tone on the first possession of the game by stuffing Maryland running back Wes Brown on fourth-and-1 in West Virginia territory. The hit ended the Terps' promising 10-play drive, and gave the Mountaineers momentum, which they never relinquished.

Stat of the game: West Virginia finished with 37 first downs, breaking a program record set in 1923 against Washington & Lee.