Saturday, September 18, 2010
Halftime: West Virginia 21, Maryland 0
By Brian Bennett
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -- Quick halftime analysis from Milan Puskar Stadium, where West Virginia leads Maryland 21-0:
Stat of the half: It's a dominating performance for the Mountaineers so far in every area. The stat that tells it all is a simple one: total yards. West Virginia has 345. Maryland has just 63. The Terrapins also have only two rushing yards and only four first downs.
Best player in the half: West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has had all kinds of open receivers and has taken full advantage. He completed his first 10 passes and finished the half 14-for-18 for 226 yards and three touchdowns. Honorable mention to Tavon Austin (six catches, 92 yards, two TDs) and Noel Devine (16 rushes for 83 yards).
What West Virginia needs to do: Just hold onto the ball. The Mountaineers fumbled twice deep in Maryland territory and had a pass broken up on fourth down from the Terps' 34. Without those turnovers, the 21-0 score would be even more lopsided.
What Maryland needs to do: Scrap the original game plan, because nothing is working. Quarterback Danny O'Brien made his first appearance of the game on the final play of the second half but was sacked and coughed up the ball. But maybe he can give the offense a spark, especially against a new starting West Virginia cornerback in Pat Miller. It's going to be a major uphill climb, however, and O'Brien may not be healthy while dealing with an ankle injury. That last hit from Bruce Irvin certainly didn't help.