College Football Week 4: Maryland At #8 West Virginia
|Many questioned why Maryland, who fired a perfectly capable coach in Ralph Friedgen, thought Randy Edsall would be the “exciting” hire they wanted. Edsall went 2-10 last year, his first at Maryland, and lost to his former school, Connecticut, last Saturday.||Coaching||Dana Holgorsen took over at West Virginia under unusual circumstances but has shown why he is considered one of the best offensive minds in the game. His Air Raid consistently has his team’s offense ranked near the top of the country.|
|The Terrapins have averaged 258 yards over their three games, third worst in FBS. Expect freshman quarterback Perry Hills, starting in place of C.J. Brown, who was injured before the season, to improve as the season progresses, but not enough to make Maryland a legitimate offensive threat.||Offense||The Mountaineers have picked up right where they left off last season, when they hung 70 on Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Led by senior quarterback Geno Smith (he’s completing 88 percent of his passes), they have averaged 55 points and more than 600 yards per game.|
|This is unquestionably the team’s bright spot. Returning 10 starters from last year, the defense will need to continue to force turnovers at a high rate to give the Terps a chance to win.||Defense||With an offense this good, shutting down the opponent is not a necessity. Marshall had plenty of success scoring against the Mountaineers, but most teams can’t outscore them. This unit does need to improve if WVU wants to be a national power, however.|
|Australian Rules football punter Brad Craddock, a freshman, is handling kicking duties for the Terps and has looked adequate so far. Maryland did give up a punt return touchdown last week.||Special Teams||West Virginia’s punter is virtually unnecessary and its kicker attempts mostly extra points. The Mountaineers have some dangerous weapons on the return game, like receiver Tavon Austin, but haven’t broken anything yet this season.|
The winner is
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