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West Virginia loses on the road to Maryland to open the season

The WVU – Maryland season opener was an entertaining dog-fight.  There was a lot of offense between the two teams early, which gave hints to a potential shootout, but both defenses settled down and stepped up in the second and third quarters.  The Terrapins offense made plays in the fourth quarter, and those clutch points lifted Maryland to the rivalry victory. 

The first quarter of the game was a back and forth battle itself. Maryland got the ball first, marched down the field, but had to settle for a 45-yard field goal (11:46 – 1st).  West Virginia took the ball and answered with an efficient drive that ended in a 20-yard touchdown pass to Leddie Brown (8:50- 1st).  

The Terrapins wasted no time in answering back, as Taulia Tagovailoa found Dontay Demus for a long 66-yard touchdown.  After forcing a WVU punt, Tagovailoa threw for another touchdown, this time an 18-yard score to his tight end, Chigoziem Okonkwo (0:53 – 1st).  Right after the Maryland touchdown, WVU’s Winston Wright took the kickoff 98 yards all the way down to the two-yard line.  Leddie Brown punched it in the end zone on the next play, with a two-yard touchdown (0:35 – 1st).   

Maryland held a 17-14 lead after the first quarter of play. 

The second quarter was a bit more of a grudge match compared to the first quarter.  To start the second, Jarret Doege completed a 19-yard pass to Leddie Brown (11:30 – 2nd ), and then a 33-yard pass to Sean Ryan (13:10 – 2nd) to put the Mountaineers in prime scoring position.  Like before, Leddie Brown finished off the drive with a touchdown, this time from 9 yards out (11: 36- 2nd).  

After the Brown touchdown, the second quarter got ugly.  After getting a fourth down stop, WVU got the ball back near midfield.  On first down, Jarret Doege threw an interception (7:44 – 2nd).  The defense came right back and forced a punt, which was muffed by Winston Wright and recovered by Maryland (6:20 – 2nd).  With under a minute to go in the 2nd quarter, Maryland drove down the field, but had to settle for a 21-yard field goal (0:31 – 2nd). 

West Virginia went into halftime with a 21-20 advantage. 

The third quarter of this game was a bit of a punt-fest. Not much excitement ensued on the offensive end for either team in the third quarter. Towards the end of the quarter, the Mountaineers had a nice drive going, but a Leddie Brown fumble on 3rd and 1 gave the ball right back to the Terrapins to end the uneventful quarter (0:15- 3rd).   

Mountaineers kept a 21-20 after three quarters. 

After a strong Maryland drive, the Mountaineer defense forced another short field goal.  Joseph Petrino drilled his third field goal of the day, this time from 26 yards out to give Maryland a 2-point advantage (9:16 – 4th).  On the ensuing kickoff, Winston Wright got loose again as he returned it 48 yards (9:16 – 4th).  Not a minute later, the WVU offense got a spark going again.  Jarret Doege threw a jump-ball downfield that was caught by Sam James for a gain of 39 yards (8:40 – 4th).  

Two plays later, Doege threw a ball into double coverage that was intercepted in the corner of the end zone (8:16 – 4th). 

The knife in the side for the Mountaineers came shortly after the interception, as Taulia Tagovailoa found Rakim Jarrett for a big 60-yard touchdown pass to put the Terrapins up nine points (6:25 – 4th).  The WVU offense woke up after the touchdown, as Jarret Doege connected with Bryce Ford-Wheaton multiple times as well as Sean Ryan to put WVU in good position. 

The Terps defense stood tall, and forced a Casey Legg field goal.  Legg made the 24-yarder to cut the Maryland advantage to 6 (2:53 – 4th).  On offense, Maryland picked up two big first downs, including one on a 3rd and one situation. These first downs sealed the win for the Terrapins. 

Maryland secured the 30-24 victory over West Virginia at home.  This is Maryland’s first win against the Mountaineers since 2013. 

West Virginia will be back in action as they take on Long Island University in the home opener on Saturday, September 11th at 5:00 ET.

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