Maryland Terrapins vs. West Virginia Mountaineers: Watch Live Stream Online for Free; Preview
Smith (R) is 22 of 23 with five touchdowns when targeting Bailey this season. (Photo: Reuters)
The Maryland Terrapins (2-1, 0-0 ACC) will travel to Morgantown to face the No. 8 West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0, 0-0 Big 12) on Saturday. The game will be broadcast live at 12:00 p.m. on FX and can be seen via live stream online on here.
West Virginia goes into the matchup having won six straight against Maryland, including three in Morgantown. The Terrapins last beat the Mountaineers 41-7 in the Gator Bowl to close the 2003 season.
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West Virginia senior quarterback Geno Smith has been lighting defenses up in leading the Mountaineers to two blowout wins -- 69-34 against Marshall and 42-12 against James Madison -- to open the season. He has just nine incompletions in 75 attempts and has thrown for 734 yards and nine touchdowns so far, helping the team to rank third in the nation in total offense (612.0 yards per game) and fourth in points (55.5 per game).
Receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin have also been a huge part of that success. Bailey caught a career-high 13 passes for 173 yards and a career-best three touchdowns against James Madison, while Austin caught 11 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. The Terrapins rank sixth in the nation against the pass with 124.3 yards allowed per game, but if there are any breakdowns whatsoever on Saturday, a guy like Austin, who is adept at running after the catch, can hurt them.
The running back combination of Shawne Alston and Andrew Buie can also do some damage. Along with the mobile Smith, they have helped West Virginia gain 226 rush yards per game.
Nevertheless, West Virginia is known to be a little bit lackadaisical during the second half of games this season, which could allow Maryland to make a comeback. It outscores opponents 64-13 in the first half, but only outscores opponents 49-33 in the second. Last season, the Terrapins themselves were able to outscore the Mountaineers 21-10 in the final 30 minutes and almost rallied to win despite a 37-31 loss at home.
This time around, however, it will most likely be a tall order to win, let alone come back from a deficit, for Maryland. Head coach Randy Edsall has played 12 true freshmen so far, including starting quarterback Perry Hills, who earned the job last month after junior C.J. Brown tore his ACL. Hills has been sacked 10 times over the last two games, so with pressure, the Mountaineers can really disrupt the passing game and make the Terrapins one-dimensional.
If that happens, running back Stefon Diggs will have to become a bigger dual threat. The freshman is tied for the team lead in receptions with nine and is posting 147.0 all-purpose yards per game, good enough to be in the top 25 in the FBS in both kickoff and punt return average.
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