Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Mountaineers survive miscues, edge Maryland on last-second field goal

The most remarkable occurrence among the many that happened here Saturday was not that West Virginia won against a team that held it without a point and just 175 yards of offense last season.

It was that the Mountaineers made so many errors that would have easily explained another loss to Maryland, but still prevailed.

WVU weathered everything it did to itself on a rainy, gloomy day, be it special teams errors, dropped interceptions, turnovers or empty scoring opportunities, to beat the Terrapins 40-37 before a crowd of 48,154 at Byrd Stadium.

“Everyone needed this game,” Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said. “What a game. I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of a game when the momentum swings went back and forth that drastically. I’m proud our team was able to get the victory at the end.”

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Mountaineers survive miscues, edge Maryland on last-second field goal.

The Charleston Gazette | Mountaineers get last-second field goal to beat Maryland 40-37

To imagine that West Virginia could have done anything more in an attempt to give away Saturday’s game against Maryland would be a reach.

In so many ways, the Mountaineers actually made more critical errors this time than they had a year earlier, when they turned the ball over six times in losing 37-0 to the Terps.

Consider that if one considers failed fourth-down-conversion attempts as turnovers — which in reality they are — WVU again turned the ball over six times. The Mountaineers were in the red zone five times and scored just twice. They had a field goal blocked and gave up a punt return for a touchdown. They set up another score by running into a Maryland punt returner and the defense was reduced to mere spectators on a 77-yard touchdown pass and a 75-yard scoring run.

Oh, and with the game on the line in the final minutes they let a punt bounce to the 5-yard line, putting themselves in the position of needing either to traverse 95 yards for a game-winning score or risk giving up the ball and allowing Maryland the chance to win.

via The Charleston Gazette | Mountaineers get last-second field goal to beat Maryland 40-37.

The Charleston Gazette | Mitch Vingle: WVU won, but was it satisfying?

There but for the grace of God — and the leg strength of Josh Lambert’s leg— went WVU’s season.

On Saturday, before a crowd of 48,154 at Byrd Stadium, the Mountaineer kicker somehow, some way, pushed through a 47-yard field goal — after a stutter step no less.

His game-winning kick not only won a game 40-37 for West Virginia over rival Maryland, it also put a cap on what could have been a barrage of criticism toward Mountaineer coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff.

WVU was simply rolling Saturday. It was up 28-6. Maryland couldn’t stop the Mountaineer offense.

Yet then the visitors started uncorking turnovers. They started failing in the red zone. The special teams made more mistakes than a toddler in algebra class. Play calling became odd. Time management was questionable. And the defense gave up 447 yards and 37 points. After the first quarter, WVU had surrendered but 59 yards.

via The Charleston Gazette | Mitch Vingle: WVU won, but was it satisfying?.

Lambert Kick Wins it for WVU – WVU Athletics

We saw a little bit of everything in this one … muffed punts, blocked punts, blocked field goals, a punt return for a touchdown … you name it, but in the end it was a 47-yard field goal by Josh Lambert on the game’s final play that finally decided it: West Virginia 40, Maryland 37.

"I just couldn't be happier for the team, the coaching staff and fanbase," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. "Everybody needed this one."

Lambert’s game-winning kick came one possession after his first field goal try to put the Mountaineers back in the lead was blocked by Alvin Hill.

Maryland couldn’t do anything with the football following Hill’s block, punting the ball back to West Virginia at the Mountaineer 5 yard line with just 2:35 left in the game.

via Lambert Kick Wins it for WVU – WVU Athletics.

PRESS CONFERENCE : WVU Coach Holgorsen on Win at Maryland

Watch West Virginia Head Football Coach, Dana Holgorsen, address the media following the Mountaineers' win over Maryland.

via PRESS CONFERENCE : WVU Coach Holgorsen on Win at Maryland – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

POSTGAME VIDEO INTERVIEWS: WVU Assistants and Players Following

Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Assistant Coaches and Players following the Mountaineers' win over Maryland.

via POSTGAME VIDEO INTERVIEWS: WVU Assistants and Players Following – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – End-game scenario perfect for schizo Saturday

The fun at Byrd Stadium was still rumbling outside the Mountaineers’ locker room. The Pride of West Virginia band, with drums booming and pride retuned, wasn’t going to leave quietly—not after a 40-37 win over Maryland made every second vital.

What began as a runaway quickly U-turned into the damnedest game this series ever produced. Not Marshall-to-Henry in 2004′s overtime or Darryl Talley hurrying Boomer Esiason’s two-point try in ’82 could equal the combo of tension, mood swings and off-script entertainment.

West Virginia delivered all the enormous plays Dana Holgorsen craved and a swell of giant miscues he couldn’t fathom. What distilled from it all was a win made hugely important because the contrary might have been even more enormous. Penetrate the Maryland 40-yard line 12 times and get zilch on six? Let a 22-point lead vaporize? Gain 694 yards and lose?

via WV MetroNews – End-game scenario perfect for schizo Saturday.

The Charleston Gazette | Mountaineers face Maryland year after 37-0 debacle

History suggests that West Virginia’s game with Maryland today is important to the Mountaineers.

It always is, or at least it seems that way.

Consider that since 1995, the teams have played 17 times during the regular season. West Virginia has won 11 and wound up going to a bowl game each time. Of the six seasons in which the Mountaineer lost, they missed out on a bowl in four of those years and a fifth drew a rematch with the Terps and lost again.

So is that the reason today’s game at Byrd Stadium (noon kickoff, the Big Ten Network) is so important?

Hardly.

“I know what the history says,’’ West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “But we’re not going to change our mentality because of what the history says.’’

via The Charleston Gazette | Mountaineers face Maryland year after 37-0 debacle.

The Charleston Gazette | WVU notebook: Buie makes case for No. 3 running back

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — For the most part, the things that happened late in West Virginia’s 54-0 blowout of Towson a week ago were insignificant. The game was decided by halftime and by the fourth quarter the reserves were just playing out the string, happy to get some rare playing time.

There were a few exceptions, though. Freshman William Crest got into the game and got his feet wet, perhaps signaling more to come as the weeks go by. On defense, safety Jarrod Harper and linebacker Shaq Petteway, both largely overshadowed and pushed to the background, proved they might deserve more chances.

And then there was Andrew Buie.

“I thought he went in and competed well when he had an opportunity,’’ said WVU running backs coach JaJuan Seider. “And that’s what we were looking for.’’

via The Charleston Gazette | WVU notebook: Buie makes case for No. 3 running back.

Countdown to Kickoff – WVU Athletics

West Virginia returns to Maryland to face the Terrapins for the 25th time in College Park when the two teams play Saturday at high noon at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

This will be the 51st overall meeting between these two border rivals with West Virginia holding a 26-22-2 advantage in this highly competitive series. Last year in Baltimore, Maryland snapped West Virginia’s seven-game winning streak in series play with a dominating 37-0 victory.

Saturday’s game will be televised in the Big Ten Network (Joe Beninati, Chuck Long, Scott McBrien and Frank Hanrahan) and will also be covered by the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG (Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace and Jed Drenning) on affiliates throughout West Virginia and nationally through TuneIn and leanStream.

Here is the Countdown to Kickoff, presented by Friends of Coal:

via Countdown to Kickoff – WVU Athletics.

No. 13 Mountaineers Settle for Draw – WVU Athletics

Despite a significant advantage in chances, the No. 13-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team could not close the door on a visiting No. 16 Georgetown tonight, as the squads played to a 1-1 double-overtime draw at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

The overtime match was the first of the season for the Mountaineers (4-2-1), who dominated in time of possession and outshot the Hoyas (3-2-2) 26-10, including a 13-3 advantage in shots on-goal.

“When you can hold a team like Georgetown to three shots, I think it says a lot about what we’re doing defensively,” said Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “I have all the respect in the world for Georgetown, and I thought (Emma) Newins came up with some huge saves. This is a tough result for us. We had a great crowd behind us, and they did their best to will us to a victory. Walking away from this match – we felt we had this.”

via No. 13 Mountaineers Settle for Draw – WVU Athletics.

Volleyball Sweeps Seton Hall – WVU Athletics

pt Seton Hall 3-0 in set scores of 25-22, 25-23 and 25-16 in their second match at the Mountaineer Invitational at the WVU Coliseum on Friday evening.

The win moved the Mountaineers to 8-1 on the season. They will face Saint Francis at noon on Saturday before wrapping up the tournament at 7 p.m. when they host Montana.

Jordan Anderson was once again the story of the match, collecting her third double-double of the season with a team-best 19 kills and 13 digs. She also hit .436, marking the fourth time this season she has hit .300 or better. Anderson has finished in double figures in kills every match this season and has led the Big 12 in kills per set.

via Volleyball Sweeps Seton Hall – WVU Athletics.

Game Preview: West Virginia Heads to Maryland to Take On Terps

In the 51st meeting between these two schools, West Virginia (1-1) heads into College Park to meet Maryland (2-0) in the third game of the season.

West Virginia comes into the game hoping to keep up with its strong offensive showings from the last two games. A 606 total offensive yardage game against Towson, and a two game passing yardage total of 713 for QB Clint Trickett have shown a promising start for the Mountaineers.

On the flip side, Maryland is coming into the game sporting some extra swagger with their special edition 200th anniversary Battle of Baltimore jerseys that include the lyrics to the national anthem, along with some sick designs.

Besides that Maryland is also walking with confidence after opening their season with two wins, taking down James Madison and Southern Florida. 

via Game Preview: West Virginia Heads to Maryland to Take On Terps – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – Gameday: Re-energized Mountaineers stoked for showdown at Maryland

The punt returner whose muff set up Maryland’s first score is no longer of this program. Nor is the quarterback who made it a two-touchdown hole by trying to float a dangerous out-route through a torn pectoral. But let’s not villainize those two turnovers when 37-0 became the 70-man bystander effect exemplified.

Dana Holgorsen, unable to counter all this diffusion of responsibility, saw his team droop and deflate. All that was missing from the West Virginia sideline was Marty Feldman telling the troops, “Could be worse—it could be raining.”

via WV MetroNews – Gameday: Re-energized Mountaineers stoked for showdown at Maryland.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Holgorsen’s plan changes with confident offense

WVU lost 37-0 to the Terrapins last season, and the school’s first shutout loss since 2001 and an unbelievable outcome for a team ranked No. 5 not even a year earlier.

“It was a tough pill to swallow and there was a lot of self-examination that was going on after that game. What could we have done differently?” WVU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Shannon Dawson said. “But if you look back on it, I think that was really who we were at that point last year. We weren’t very good and I don’t know if there was much we could have done differently.”

That had to change in Holgorsen’s third season in charge and second in the offensive-minded Big 12. The day after the loss, WVU started making changes to fix what was broken, and the lengthy process arrives at a significant landmark at noon Saturday.

The Mountaineers, who insist they have changed for the better, play at Byrd Stadium (Big Ten Network) against a Maryland (2-0) team that has pretty much the same team it had last season.

“I think our mentality is in a much different place,” Holgorsen said. “We’re a much more experienced team. We’re a more confident team. We play with a lot more energy and effort, and that’s hopefully going to make a big difference in the outcome of the game Saturday.”

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Holgorsen’s plan changes with confident offense.

Charleston Daily Mail | Mike Casazza: WVU defense draws favorable comparison to 2005 unit

Though it served as a punch line and a punching bag the previous two seasons, the truth about defense at West Virginia is that it wasn’t too long ago the Mountaineers were among the very best at that part of the game.

It was 2011, to be precise, and Jeff Casteel’s final number finished No. 33 in total defense and sent him out with a swarming demolition of what was a loaded Clemson offense with seven players now in the NFL. And though it’s hard to forget the many bad times from 2012 and 2013, it’s easier and it’s more rewarding to remember the many achievements before that.

That’s one reason Tony Gibson returned to WVU and was then promoted and one reason the first Division I defense he’s ever coordinated is off to one of the best starts of the past decade. Saturday’s shutout against Towson was the first since 2010 and only the second since the start of the 2005 season. In the same time, only the 2005, 2006 and 2010 defenses allowed fewer than the 33 points this team has allowed in the first two games — and none of those three played a ranked team at the start, let alone the No. 2 team in the country.

via Charleston Daily Mail | Mike Casazza: WVU defense draws favorable comparison to 2005 unit.

The Charleston Gazette | Big plays missing from WVU offense

In its first two games of the season, West Virginia has gained 999 yards of total offense, scored 77 points and turned the ball over just once — by a backup quarterback playing with a 40-point lead.

That offense has converted more than half its third downs, averaged 6.1 yards per play and been forced to punt just five times. Quarterback Clint Trickett’s completion percentage is just a hair over 75 percent and in eight quarters the offense has been penalized just twice — 10 yards for a hold and a loss of down for intentional grounding, both in the opener against Alabama.

By almost any measure, those are outstanding numbers. So is this: In 23 possessions the Mountaineers have gone three-and-out just three times, never in the first three quarters of a game. Red-zone scoring opportunities haven’t always been capitalized upon (11 scores in 14 chances, but in addition to the three non-scores there have also been three times WVU had to settle for field goals), but that’s really the only thing about which to complain.

Well, and this: There has been a noticeable lack of big plays.

via The Charleston Gazette | Big plays missing from WVU offense.

The Charleston Gazette | Mountaineer Gameday: Dave Hickman column — Maryland QB has hung in there

Why is it when West Virginia and Maryland play these days there always seems to be a quarterback issue surrounding the Terps?

If it’s not a former Mountaineer behind center for Maryland, like Scott McBrien, it’s a slew of injuries or uncertainty, like two years ago when the Terps were down to their third and fourth QBs.

Finally, though, Maryland’s situation behind center seems to have settled down. The quarterback now, as it was a year ago, is senior C.J. Brown, who it probably only seems like has been there since the advent of facemasks.

Actually, it’s only been six years.

via The Charleston Gazette | Mountaineer Gameday: Dave Hickman column — Maryland QB has hung in there.

The Charleston Gazette | ‘First-class visit’ impressed WVU commitment

Perhaps appropriately for the sport, WVU coach Bob Huggins put the full-court press on Esa Ahmad, one of the nation’s top basketball recruits.

When Ahmad, a 6-foot-9 swing man from Shaker Heights, Ohio, visited Morgantown last weekend, he not only met with the Mountaineer staff and players, but also with school President E. Gordon Gee and Athletic Director Oliver Luck.

In the end, Ahmad was suitably, well, im-pressed. He went home, considered his move and committed to WVU and Huggins over finalists Ohio State, Maryland, Oregon and Wisconsin.

“It was good for him to see not only the basketball side of the school, but the rest of it,” said Ahmad’s coach, Danny Young, on Thursday. “Dr. Gee was phenomenal, very open and not dry. It’s not often you get to talk to a university president. We talked about cultural diversity and inclusion. There was Oliver Luck, whose son plays in the NFL. … It was a first-class visit. Esa said, ‘Coach, I like this.’ There was a little glimmer in his eye.”

via The Charleston Gazette | ‘First-class visit’ impressed WVU commitment.

Mountaineer Flashback: ’88 Maryland – WVU Athletics

For many years, the West Virginia-Maryland football game was always considered a barometer for the type of season West Virginia was going to have.

Beat the Terrapins and WVU was looking at a good year; play poorly against them and the season was headed down the tubes – at least that’s way Mountaineer fans typically have viewed things.

Last year that certainly turned out to be the case. Same deal back in 1999 when West Virginia got whacked over the head, 33-0, at Byrd Stadium.

There have been times, too, when West Virginia lost to Maryland and ended up having a successful season, such as in 2002 when WVU lost to the Terps and ended up finishing second in the Big East, or back in 1994 when West Virginia fell to Maryland but wound up going to a bowl game anyway.

On the flip side, there have been many instances when West Virginia beat Maryland only to finish the year without the type of season Mountaineer fans had envisioned.

 

via Mountaineer Flashback: '88 Maryland – WVU Athletics.