Sept. 22, 2012
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - Postgame notes following Maryland's 31-21 loss at No. 8 West Virginia.
Kicking Off: Maryland fell to 2-2 on the season while No. 8 West Virginia improved to 3-0 with a 31-21 win ... the Mountaineers have won seven straight in the series and own a 26-21-2 all-time lead ... West Virginia came in averaging 55.5 points per game and 612 yards of offense, but Maryland held it to 31 points and 363 yards ... the Mountaineers scored 14 points off turnovers (both fumbles), including the game's opening points.
Strength vs. Strength: Maryland entered Saturday's game ranked sixth nationally in passing defense (124.3 ypg) and eighth in total defense (227.3 ypg). West Virginia, meanwhile, came in second in passing offense (386 ypg) and third in total offense (612 ypg). The Terps held the Mountaineers well under their total offense average by surrendering 363 yards. A.J. Francis and Demetrius Hartsfield both recorded sacks of WVU QB Geno Smith, the first of this season.
Rush Defense: Maryland's run defense continued to be a major strength. The Terps came into the game allowing just 2.58 yards per carry and held West Virginia to 1.0 yard per carry. The Mountaineers had averaged 226 rushing yards per game but against the Terps had only 25 yards on 25 carries.
Bringing the Pressure: Despite playing most of the game in a nickel package with just three defensive linemen, Maryland got good pressure in the backfield. The defense recorded two sacks and nine tackles for loss, including two each by Demetrius Hartsfield, Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis.
Ball Control: The Terps were able to control the ball for much of the game, especially in the first half. The Terps won the battle for time of possession 31:14 to 28:46 in the game and 18:13 to 11:47 in the first half. Additionally, Maryland averaged 5.4 yards per play (season average 4.1) and held WVU to 5.3 yards per play (season average 8.3).
Hills Delivers: Freshman quarterback Perry Hills had the best game of his young career, despite playing in a hostile environment. Hills went 20 of 29 for 305 yards and three touchdowns, all career highs. His lone interception came on a fourth-down desperation heave late in the fourth quarter. The last time a Maryland quarterback threw for over 300 yards was Danny O'Brien (348) in the season opener against Miami (9/5/11) last season.
Diggs Shines: Stefon Diggs had his second straight game with 200-plus all-purpose yards by finishing with 201. He had a team-high 113 receiving yards and two touchdowns on three receptions. The touchdowns came on 42 and 56-yard receptions. Diggs also had 25 punt return yards and 63 kickoff return yards.
Tate Returns: Fifth-year senior Kenneth Tate made his season debut after missing the first three games with a knee injury. On his first drive, Tate had a solo tackle and a pass breakup to help force a punt. For the game, Tate finished with four tackles, including one for loss.
Ross Debuts: Redshirt freshman Brandon Ross made his Maryland debut after missing the first three games of the season with a hamstring injury. Ross had 20 carries for 52 yards in the game.
Furstenburg, Dorsey Step Up: Seniors Matt Furstenburg and Kevin Dorsey had their best games of the season. Furstenburg had four catches for 65 yards with a long of 29, while Dorsey had three catches for 31 yards with a long of 15.
Tidbits: Maryland was much improved on third downs. After coming in having converted only 14 of 40 (35%), the Terps converted 7 of 14 (50%) ... West Virginia's Tavon Austin became the first played to score three receiving TDs against Maryland since 10/27/01 (Florida State's Talman Gardner) ... Nathan Renfro averaged 45.8 yards per punt on six punts ... Dexter McDougle had a career-high eight tackles, all of them unassisted ... Demetrius Hartsfield had seven solo stops and Joe Vellano had six.