Maryland trounced by West Virginia
Final: West Virginia 45, Maryland 6
Telling stat: Six Maryland turnovers
I don’t know if there was a set blueprint for how Maryland could’ve escaped Morgantown with a victory. I do know that turning the ball over six times was not part of that plan. Caleb Rowe’s four interceptions were a big part of that, but they weren’t all of it. The Terps had five straight possessions end with turnovers. Even when Brandon Ross busted Maryland’s best run of the day on a 55-yard carry, he lost a fumble at the 1-yard line into the back of the end zone. That says all you need to know about the Terps’ day.
Key play: West Virginia’s early fourth-down stand
Credit Randy Edsall for going for it on fourth-and-one on the first possession of the game. Don’t credit the offensive line or Wes Brown for getting blown up in the backfield. Maryland had to get some points out of that drive. It marched down the field and converted on two third downs to keep the opening drive alive. But instead, the Mountaineers got the fourth-down stop they needed, and it was all West Virginia from there.
Daxx Garman makes Maryland debut
The Oklahoma State transfer was the third Maryland quarterback to see the field this season. Edsall probably would’ve rather him made his debut in a blowout victory. Instead, he replaced Rowe after his 67 yards and four interceptions. He did connect with Jahrvis Davenport for a 46-yard score in garbage time. He ended the game, however, with an interception. I predicted that the Terps would start all three quarterbacks at least once this season. That prediction could come true in Week 5.
-Maryland’s defense has major issues
It’s never good when your best position group gets torched. That was the unfortunate reality for the Maryland defensive backfield. WVU quarterback Skyler Howard had a banner day with four touchdowns and 294 yards. If the Mountaineers hadn’t jumped out to a a 38-0 halftime lead, those totals would’ve been even greater. Jermaine Carter had probably the best day of his young career with 14 tackles and three for loss. But overall, this is a unit that can’t have first-half performances like Saturday’s. Ever.
What it means: Maryland has uncertain immediate future
I was fooled. I thought the way the Terps responded against USF was how they’d come out against WVU. Instead, they looked like the team that was embarrassed by Bowling Green. Quarterback and defensive woes are not things you want heading into B1G play, especially when your conference slate starts with Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan State. They won’t win any one of those games if they show up like they did on Saturday.