Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 14, 2010

Terrapins worry Bill Stewart

Undefeated Maryland next up for Mountaineers

By DAVE MORRISON for the Daily Telegraph
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

MORGANTOWN — The saying "If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have any" doesn’t hold water for Maryland.

The Terrapins have used two signal callers — Jamarr Robinson and Danny O’Brien — and, while the stats aren’t eye-popping, they are productive.

The Terps are off to their first 2-0 start since 2007.

Maryland is up next for West Virginia (also 2-0) Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium at Noon. ESPNU will televise the action.

Though they are different style quarterbacks, they do share at least one similarity. Both are North Carolina natives.

Johnson, the incumbent starter, a scrambler, is a 6-foot, 195-pound junior. He is 8-of-19 for 81 yards and two scores and two interceptions. He is also the Terps second-leading rusher with 128 yards.

O’Brien, 6-foot-3, 215-pound freshman from Kernersville, is 5-of-10 for 79 yards and three scoring tosses.

O’Brien threw all three against Morgan State in a 62-3 win, after fumbling on his only snap of the Terps’ season-opening 17-14 win over Navy. Despite tweaking and ankle against Morgan State, his play was good enough to stir a QB controversy on that side of the Beltway.

The Terps have done a good job running the football, ranked 19th nationally in rushing.

Davin Meggett leads the Terps with 155 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown and Da’Rel has 100 yards on 18 carries and a score.

“Maryland is still Maryland, they’ve had a rough couple of years, now they have not only won, but they have an excellent quarterback and I know that with (Da’Rel) Scott running that ball or (Davin) Meggett running that ball they’re going to be very, very difficult,” WVU coach Bill Stewart said.

West Virginia is led by senior Noel Devine (43 carries, 223 yards and two TDs) and sophomore quarterback Geno Smith (52-of-72 for 532 yards with three touchdowns and one interception). His favorite targets are Tavon Austin (14 catches, 175 yards) and Jock Sanders (13-128, one touchdown).

Stewart said the Mountaineers are glad to have the Terps back on the schedule for the first time since 2007, when WVU beat Maryland 31-14 at College Park.

The Mountaineers have won the last three meeting. The last loss was a 41-7 thrashing at the hands of a Maryland team quarterback by former Mountaineer Scotty O’Brien.

He finished his career with three wins over WVU.

“They have been our nemesis since 1980, going back to the Don Nehlen (WVU) and Bobby Ross (Maryland) Era,” Stewart said.

“They had our number there for awhile. When Scotty was over there they beat us three times in a two-year span,” Stewart said. “I mean this is going to be a heck of a football game and each and every year since 1980 it’s been like that for the last 30 years. So this is going to be big.”

Maryland has fallen on hard times in recent years. But Stewart believes the Ralph Friedgen-led Terps are back, as evidenced by their opening two victories.

“Maryland is Maryland,” he said. “ They are tough, they’ve got speed, and they’re ACC.”

Stewart expects the Terrapins to come after the Mountaineers on defense.

“Defensively, I’ve known those guys for years, they’re going to sic ’em, they’re going to blitz us, they’re going to just create havoc,” Stewart said. “I just hope and pray we can create some big plays and get them off balance. I swear to God, this is going to be a whale of a football game.”

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