The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

September 22, 2013

Turnovers plague Mountaineers en route to a 37-0 loss to Maryland

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia continued its free fall from college football’s elite Saturday as Maryland, a team the Mountaineers had dominated through seven straight victories, not only beat them but shut them out, 37-0.

It had been more than a decade since the Mountaineers had been shut out, that coming on Oct. 6, 2001, in Rich Rodriguez’s first year as coach, 35-0 to Virginia Tech. WVU had scored in 151 consecutive game until this game.

The loss was West Virginia’s ninth in its last 13 games with the victories coming only against Kansas, Iowa State, William & Mary and Georgia State.

Playing amateurishly on offense in a professional stadium in Baltimore behind redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress, WVU managed just 175 total yards while turning the ball over six times, the turnovers leading directly to 24 of Maryland’s points.

Childress’ numbers were difficult to imagine in a Dana Holgorsen offense, completing 11 of 22 passes, just one of them to a wide receiver, for just 62 passing yards.

“Obviously, we have to go back and try to figure out what we’re good at offensively,” Holgorsen said. “Obviously, today we’re not good at anything. It’s 100 percent on me.”

The offense was so bad that Holgorsen would not allow them to talk with the media following the game.

Childress will remain WVU’s quarterback.

“We made the decision he’s going to be our guy, and he is going to be our guy,” Holgorsen said.

This puts an end to non-conference play for the season, and now WVU dives into Big 12 play and it doesn’t get any tougher than next week, when Oklahoma State, the conference’s top team, comes to Milan Puskar Stadium for a noon game.

Oh, yeah, they come in after a week off to prepare.

It was obvious right from the start that West Virginia did not belong on the same field with Maryland.

Oh, the Mountaineer defense did some big-time hitting, banging around receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long through much of the half. Safety Darwin Cook made some big plays, corner Travis Bell crushed Long, linebacker Doug Rigg shook off the effects of concussion to make a huge hit on the goal line.

But when the half ended there were 30 Maryland points on the board, almost all of them at expense not of the WVU defense but of the offense.

Childress reverted to being a freshman, completing just seven of 16 passes, and tossed two interceptions, one of which was run back for a score and the second of which set up the Terps in the shadow of the WVU end zone.

In truth, this was almost like a freshman team facing a seasoned varsity, for the mistakes came one upon another.

It started with the defense stuffing Maryland early, forcing a punt, only to have Ronald Carswell, the return man, let it bounce off him with Maryland recovering.

Wasn’t long before Maryland was parlaying that into a TD, C.J. Brown to Dave Stinebaugh off a deflection. The deflection would tend you cuss WVU’s luck, except by this moment you already knew luck would have nothing to do with this outcome.

WVU took the kickoff and completed a quick touchdown pass … the touchdown, unfortunately, belonging to the Terps as cornerback A.J. Hendy laid in the bushes waiting for Childress to make a freshman mistake.

He obliged as Hendy stepped in and intercepted, going untouched 28 yards into the end zone, and it was 14-0.

There really isn’t much to say about the second quarter as Maryland just completely dominated, getting three field goals from steady Brad Craddock, one of them from 50 yards away.

That advanced Maryland’s advantage to 23-0, which would have been good enough, but Childress was in a most charitable mood in the closing seconds, Childress tried to come off his goal line flinging, only to have linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil not only bat the pass up into the air but then make an acrobatic interception as he was falling over backward.

Did we mention it was on the WVU 6?

A couple of plays later, one of them Rigg’s big-time goal line stop, Brown sneaked into the end zone to make it 30-0.

West Virginia would have like to have sneaked into the locker room but they had to parade off the field before a rather hostile crowd.

The second half turned into a comedy of errors as Maryland was content to be conservative and WVU kept fumbling the ball away, turning it over three times via fumble.

There was only one real flash of life and that came long after the issue was settled at 37-0, Dreamius Smith breaking loose for a 51-yard gain that looked like it might set up a score.

It didn’t take long to revert to what had been happening, Childress caught in a pass rush and trying to improvise by flipping to Charles Sims. Sims was not expecting the lateral, had it bounce off his chest and into the waiting arms of Hendy, who had his third turnover.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads