What exactly does Maryland have to do to beat WVU? In a two-word summary, DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENT!
Various media outlets have laid out so many keys for the game already. The most prevailing train of thought seems to be based on the premise that Maryland must be able to throw the ball. The point is valid in that WVU seems to have an issue with covering opposing receivers. Even more important is the big stat…Junior signal caller Jordan Steffy has yet to throw a TD pass in his entire college career. That number must change immediately.
However, after attending this border war for the past 12 years straight, nothing bought more shock than to see the defense Maryland lined up with last year in Morgantown from the very first snap. The Terps were in their base set with four defensive backs. The deep safety was playing 20-30 yards down field. In short, they were wasting a man. The thought that just could not get out of my mind that day…What WVU film was defensive coordinator Chris Cosh watching?
WVU runs the football, period. Can Pat White beat anyone with his arm downfield? Yes, but no one has seen this achievement on a consistent basis. Better to take that chance as opposed to lining up in a base set and letting Rich Rodriguez do what he does best. That is spread you out with three and four receivers and run. The WVU passing game is also based on the run. Short passes behind the line of scrimmage or dumps that go three yards down field.
If you want to see the formula for beating WVU, watch the first half tape of the Marshall game last week (13-6 at the half in favor of the Herd). Attack the line of scrimmage! Saying the key for Maryland exists when the Terps have the ball is a big mistake. What will it matter when WVU is going to score 45+ points per usual.
When the Terps takes that field on defense for the first series and you see that safety drop 20 yards off the ball, call it a night. Coach Cosh has to be smarter than this. Hold WVU to 28 points or less and the Terps can pull it off. Doing the same things on defense makes this an impossible mission. Maryland is the big underdog. Play like one!
INJURY NOTE: WVU All-Big East defensive tackle Keilen Dykes is doubtful for this game with a foot injury. Keilen has been the cement on this front line. Move those chains…