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September 17, 2013

Holgorsen's Take: Maryland Pre-Game Presser

It's Maryland week and the West Virginia football team is excited for the opportunity to square off against their border state rivals according to head coach Dana Holgorsen.

Because of conference realignment, the Terrapins remain the only traditional regional rivalry left on the slate for West Virginia and shortly after the Georgia State game ended, the focus shifted to this weekend's matchup at M&T Bank Stadium.

"Our guys are familiar with Maryland and excited about being able to play them," he said.

The Terrapins are a much different team that the Mountaineers have seen over the past couple years and have consistency at the quarterback position with redshirt senior C.J. Brown at the helm.

"Offensively they're a different unit with C.J. Brown healthy and playing," Holgorsen said. "(He) brings a bunch of balance to their offense. They want to be balanced in the run and the pass."

The skill players will provide a different challenge for the West Virginia defense after going against primarily teams that have ran the football, the Terrapins feature two of the best wide receivers that the Mountaineers will see this season in Stefon Diggs and Deon Long.

Diggs is one of the premier big play threats in the country and is very similar to West Virginia's Tavon Austin in his ability to make things happen with the ball in his hands, although Holgorsen believes the sophomore is more of a down the field threat than Austin.

"I'm excited to see how these guys respond to that," he said.

A season ago, the Terrapins kept West Virginia's offense in check, holding Geno Smith and company to only 31-points and while many of those players have graduated, Holgorsen expects to see much of the same in regards to scheme and how they will attack the Mountaineers.

The game will be played in the Ravens Stadium and that's something that Holgorsen sees as an advantage due to the fact that the game will have more of a neutral site feel to it as opposed to playing the game in College Park in front of a majority of Maryland fans.

"Guys are excited about going to Baltimore. It's important for our administration, important for our fan base, important for our kids and important for recruiting," he said.

On the injury front, Holgorsen said that all of the players that either missed time or were injured last week have been cleared and Doug Rigg, K.J. Dillon, Christian Brown, Isaiah Bruce and Garrett Hope will all practice Tuesday and be available for this weekend. Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Adam Pankey has been elevated to a green jersey and while it will take him some time to get back into the swing of things, he is now practicing after ACL surgery.


* Redshirt senior cornerback Brodrick Jenkins is no longer with the West Virginia football team after starting last season. Holgorsen would not elaborate further outside of the matter being internal. He is replaced on the depth chart by Terrell Chestnut, while Avery Williams will get practice reps this week as well. Those two are currently behind Travis Bell, with Ishmael Banks and Daryl Worley on the opposite side.

* Holgorsen was very complimentary of the play of Worley and said the freshman would be the first player into the game if something happened to either Banks or Bell. Worley is a guy that has taken advantage of every opportunity he has been given on the field and does some things athletically that Holgorsen doesn't see out of the group very often.

"Worley has tremendous upside potential as a starting cornerback for a long, long time," he said.

* Jewone Snow was named scout team player of the week, and Holgorsen said that he will see some time on special teams.

* Ford Childress will need to continue to develop his sense of urgency, which is night and day compared to this time a season ago. That will come with more reps.

* The wide receiver position is far from settled and all of the options will once again play this weekend, although how much they play will be determined by their production level.

* Although he was redshirting, true freshman offensive lineman Tyler Tezeno will undergo knee surgery and be out for six months.

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