It feels a bit like deja vu.
In 2006, Maryland came to West Virginia as a decided underdog and fell behind 28-0 on the way to a never-in-question loss.
In 2010, Maryland came to West Virginia as a decided underdog and fell behind 28-0 on the way to a generally never-in-question loss.
And so here in 2010, Maryland has come to West Virginia as a decided underdog. What will happen? Read on …
1. At least one of Maryland’s four tailbacks won’t draw a carry.
There are four tailbacks listed as co-starters on Maryland’s depth chart. At least one of them won’t work his way into things. That’s more a guess than anything, but it’s generally difficult to spread carries around that much. Someone will get squeezed out.
2. Tavon Austin will roll up 100 receiving yards.
The West Virginia senior and Baltimore native had seven catches for 106 yards two years ago against Maryland. He added 11 receptions for 122 yards last season at Byrd. Bank on another big day for the shifty receiver and return man.
3. Eric Franklin will make at least 10 tackles.
The Maryland safety set a career-high with 15 stops against the Mountaineers last year. It probably won’t be a good sign if he’s needed that much today, but the elusiveness of West Virginia’s skill position players should lead to a high-volume tackle day for the senior.
4. Perry Hills will have his first 200-yard passing day.
If the West Virginia offense gets going (as it usually does against most opponents), Hills and the Terps are going to need to throw the ball. With Maryland committed to the freshman, he’ll have the chance to keep the Terps in the game (and try to rally them should the Mountaineers build a big lead).
5. West Virginia will win.
Maryland’s first three games all appeared winnable on paper. At least three of the next four provide a credible chance to snag a victory. This, though, is a day Maryland encounters a deeper, more talented team on its home field. Impressive though the Terps’ defense has been, it will face a steep task in containing the Mountaineers. This has a chance to be another unpleasant trip to Morgantown for Maryland.
—- Patrick Stevens