The West Virginia Mountaineers’ 2021 football season will get underway in just under a week against their old rival Maryland. The rivalry against Maryland is one that West Virginia has always taken seriously, so let’s take a look at some of the recent battles between the Mountaineers and the Terrapins.
The two teams have met 52 times in a rivalry that dates back to 1919. The Mountaineers lead the all-time series with a record of 28-22-2.
Since the turn of the century, WVU has dominated the series, posting a 10-3 record against the Terrapins, including nine victories in the last 10 games. Let’s take a glance at some of the Mountaineer victories that stand out from the last 20 years.
2004 (Morgantown, WV)
For the first highlighted victory, we’re going to take a nostalgic trip back to the Rasheed Marshall era. In 2004, the Mountaineers were on a three-game losing streak against the Terps, including a bowl game no-show the year before. The game was tight all around and went to overtime tied at 13 after Maryland blocked a potential game-winning kick from inside 40 yards.
In overtime, the Terrapins settled for a field goal, which gave WVU a prime chance to win. With a third down staring the Mountaineers in the face, Rasheed Marshall delivered a bullet to star receiver Chris Henry in the end zone to win the ball game 19-16. Henry launched the ball into the air in celebration.
2007 (College Park, MD)
The next storied game was a blackout game in College Park, Maryland. The year was 2007, and WVU had Patrick White, Steve Slaton, and Owen Schmitt to power them to a 11-2 season, which included a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma.
This particular game, however, featured a new player. The story was true freshman Noel Devine. Slaton was one of the best running backs in the nation at the time, so Devine didn’t have a heavy workload ahead of him in 2007. Against Maryland, Devine broke free multiple times and racked up 136 yards on just five carries. Devine was stopped at the 1-yard line twice after big runs, and Slaton ended up getting the touchdowns on those drives. Slaton ended with three scores and 127 yards on 26 carries. The Mountaineers went on to win by a score of 31-14.
2011 (College Park, MD)
For the third memorable game against Maryland, we’re going to venture into the Geno Smith era. During the 2011 season, the Mountaineers would finish with a 10-3 record, and won the Discover Orange Bowl.
In this road game, the Mountaineers had control as Terrance Garvin had an interception return for a touchdown to give WVU a 14-3 lead after a quarter. West Virginia took a 27-10 lead into the half, and then built upon that when Geno Smith found Stedman Bailey downfield for a touchdown to put the Mountaineers up 34-10 with 11:36 to go in the quarter.
Maryland wouldn’t go away, however, as they managed to hold WVU to only a field goal after the Bailey touchdown, while also hitting their stride offensively. The Terps cut the lead to three at one point in the fourth quarter, but after a WVU field goal, the lead went back up to six.
With under two minutes to play, Maryland had possession of the football and was moving downfield. A touchdown and an extra point would have potentially won the game for the Terrapins, but Eain Smith stepped in and intercepted a Danny O’Brien pass to seal the 37-31 victory for the Mountaineers.
2014 (College Park, MD)
2014 was the last time the Mountaineers took on the Terrapins at Maryland’s home field, and the game was no disappointment. The West Virginia team, led by Dana Holgorsen, was electric on offense. With quarterback Clint Trickett and receivers Mario Alford and Kevin White, the Mountaineers found the end zone often.
In the game against Maryland, the stars came out to play. Mario Alford caught two deep ball touchdowns while Kevin White took a slant route 44 yards for another touchdown. Like 2011, WVU let a comfortable lead get away, as they were up 28-6 nearing the second half.
Maryland answered with back-to-back touchdowns from Stefon Diggs and Jacquille Veii to make it an eight-point game at halftime.
The second half is where the game got ugly. On the first play from scrimmage to start the half, Maryland’s quarterback C.J. Brown ran for a 75-yard touchdown, in which he broke multiple routine tackles. More sloppiness ensued, as the Mountaineers muffed a punt inside their own 10-yard line and allowed a punt return to be taken back for a Maryland touchdown.
With 2:35 left in the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 37. After forcing a punt, WVU would take possession of the ball at their own 5-yard line. Clint Trickett led the offense down the field, converting multiple third downs in the process. The game would come down to a 47-yard field goal attempt from kicker Josh Lambert. After a little stutter-step, Lambert still managed to drill the kick as time expired, giving West Virginia the win.
The 2021 West Virginia team will head back to College Park, Maryland looking for the third straight victory against the Terrapins. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.