West Virginia football notebook: Team will continue series with Maryland
West Virginia is keeping Maryland among its non-conference opponents to help fulfill the school's regional scheduling requirements, coach Dana Holgorsen said.
The eighth-ranked Mountaineers (2-0) will host Maryland (2-1) Saturday at noon at Milan Puskar Stadium. The game will be televised on FX.
“It's a game that's going to continue to be played,” Holgorsen said. “I've made reference to this a lot, as far as the non-conference game schedule needing to be very regional.”
Holgorsen referenced WVU's strong fan turnout at last Saturday's 42-12 win over James Madison at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., as well as last year's 37-31 win over Maryland in College Park, Md.
“We're going to play regional games, so this is why it's going to remain on the schedule, because it does have so much meaning,” Holgorsen said. “We go up against Maryland recruiting a lot, so there's going to be a lot of familiarity between the two programs, and it's going to continue to exist.”
WVU and Maryland have played 48 times in a series dating to 1919. The Mountaineers have won the last six meetings.
• WVU won its first two games by a 111-46 margin. As a result, Holgorsen has been able to give playing time to his younger and inexperienced players. “We played an entire quarter with the young kids for the last two games, which has been tremendous from a developmental standpoint with some of the younger (offensive) line, especially with some of the younger receivers and, obviously. The quarterback, who's one play away from having to be in there and play,” Holgorsen said. Backup quarterback Paul Millard threw a touchdown pass late in the opener against Marshall. “The more snaps he can get, the better,” Holgorsen said.
• Holgorsen wasn't happy when the Mountaineers were stopped on a pair of short-yardage situations against James Madison, including Shawne Alston being tackled for a safety. “Offensively, we looked like crap on the third-and-1,” Holgorsen said. “We went for it and were soft. We got the ball on the goal line, and we were soft. We were soft up front. We ran soft. It was just soft.”