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September 21, 2013

Shell shocked





BALTIMORE - Maryland (4-0) ended its seven game drought to border rival West Virginia (2-2, 0-1) with authority Saturday cashing in three turnovers for 21 points in the first half en route to a 37-0 win over the Mountaineers inside M&T Bank Stadium.

West Virginia's offense managed only 65-yards in the first half with nine of those coming on the final play, as the unit spit and sputtered with six consecutive three and outs. In addition, the Mountaineers had 61 yards in penalties almost matching their offensive production. For the game, the West Virginia offense finished with 188 total yards and six turnovers.

In his second career start, redshirt freshman Ford Childress struggled mightily against the Maryland defense in the first half completing only 7 of his 16 attempts for 39 yards and two interceptions, both of which resulted in Terrapin touchdowns. And things didn't get much better in the second half for Childress and the Mountaineers on a rainy day in Baltimore.

Maryland also would cash in on a ball that bounced off Ronald Carswell on a punt return giving the Terrapins three touchdowns on gaffes. The Terrapins would add three field goals of their own on drives to take a 30-0 lead into the break and would cruise in the second half.

It's the first victory for the Maryland over West Virginia since the 2003 Gator Bowl when the Terrapins beat the Mountaineers 41-7. The Terrapins were led by senior quarterback C.J. Brown who threw for a touchdown, while rushing for another.

West Virginia opened the game with a pass to Charles Sims for 12-yards but after two runs that moved backwards for Smith, Childress's third down pass came up just short of the sticks forcing the Mountaineers to punt the ball on their opening possession. The punting would be a familiar scene as West Virginia would punt the ball eight times on the day.

Maryland took over inside their five yard line after a 50-yard punt by Nick O'Toole and the Mountaineers returned the favor, forcing the Terrapins into a three and out.

The Mountaineers moved the ball for a first down on their next drive and into Terrapin territory, but punted the ball after not being able to covert a third and short on a tunnel screen to Sims backing the Terrapins up again deep in their own territory.

West Virginia's defense held the Terrapins again on a three and out, but much like in the Oklahoma game special teams proves costly yet again as Ronald Carswell backed up to make a catch and the ball hit off him on the bounce giving Maryland the football at the Mountaineers 24-yard line.

The Terrapins would waste little time capitalizing after a screen pass took the ball inside the five, Brown hit a wide open Dave Stinebaugh in the back of the end zone after the ball was tipped by Jared Baber to give Maryland an early 7-0 advantage.

West Virginia's mistakes continued on the ensuing possession when a false start penalty backed the Mountaineers up five yards and then Childress starred down Daikiel Shorts and A.J. Hendy made his second big play on the first quarter jumping under the route and returning it for a touchdown to give Maryland a 14-0 lead with 3:53 left in the first quarter.

West Virginia was again unable to move the football on their next possession, punting after three plays with Maryland getting some heavy pressure on Childress. The Mountaineers defense continued its solid play in the opening quarter, this time with Will Clarke getting to Brown for a sack forcing the Terrapins offense to once again settle for a punt.

Childress and the West Virginia offense continued to struggle to move the football as the game flipped into the second quarter with the opening possession of the frame resulting in a three and out. Brown would engineer the best offensive drive to that point, leading the Terrapins on a five play 34-yard drive that resulted in a 50-yard field goal from Brad Craddock to give Maryland a 17-0 lead.

West Virginia and Maryland would exchange three and outs for field goals to put the Terrapins up 23-0 over their border rival in the first half. The three and outs for the Mountaineers would be the fourth and fifth in a row of the first half as the offense struggled to find any consistency.

The first-half mistakes continued for the Mountaineers as Childress attempted to throw a pass across the middle but the defensive line batted the ball into the air and subsequently intercepted the pass to set Maryland up inside the five yard line. Brown would increase the score to 30-0 on a one-yard plunge by Brown.

The second half brought a harder rain but much of the same for the Mountaineers. West Virginia held the Terrapins on their opening drive of the second half forcing a punt, but much like the first frame, the Mountaineers offense could not move the football and they would quickly return the favor booting the ball back to Maryland.

In a sequence almost telling of the day, West Virginia would force a fumble on consecutive possession deep in Maryland territory, only to have the Mountaineers fumble the ball right back to the Terrapins. Maryland would add a late touchdown in the fourth quarter on a three yard run by Brandon Ross.

West Virginia will play host to Oklahoma State next weekend at noon.


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