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WVU football notebook: Maryland proves to be even matchup

| Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, 6:54 p.m.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen was shocked after studying the box score from Saturday's 31-21 victory over Maryland.

“In all my years of coaching, I've never seen a stat line as even as this,” he said.

West Virginia led in total yards (363-351) and passing yards (338-305) but trailed in rushing yards (46-25).

The Mountaineers led in total plays (68-65) but trailed in time of possession (31:14-28:46).

Maryland averaged 5.4 yards per play, WVU 5.3. The Mountaineers were penalized six times for 59 yards. The Terrapins were penalized five times for 31 yards.

“Maryland's a good team,” Holgorsen said. “We played an ACC, BCS team that's getting better.”

Central Catholic's Hills productive

Maryland quarterback Perry Hills, a Central Catholic product, was 20 of 29 for 305 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked five times, intercepted once and shaken up briefly following a big hit after a play was stopped because of a Maryland penalty.

“When you get around Perry and you see his demeanor and his competitiveness and his heart and his passion and his ability to be a team guy, you know a guy like that is going to rebound from setbacks,” Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. “He is a tough guy that wants to do well. We have to protect him better. We didn't protect him well enough today.”

Hills became the first true freshman to start at Maryland since 1999 when he started against William & Mary in the opener.

Austin climbs charts

WVU senior Tavon Austin was unstoppable, finishing with 13 catches for 179 yards and three touchdowns.

“This was Tavon's best game by far,” Holgorsen said. “I can't say that about the (others).”

Austin passed Jock Sanders to become WVU's career receiving leader with 208. His three TDs tie him at No. 2 all-time with Chris Henry at 22.

Odds and ends

Sophomore running back Dustin Garrison got his first action of the season but was limited to two carries. Senior Shawne Alston didn't enter until late in the first half because of a thigh injury. Sophomore Anthony Buie replaced Alston in the starting lineup and rushed 14 times for 33 yards. ... Quarterback Geno Smith threw nine incompletions in his first two games. He had nine against Maryland in the first half. ... This was WVU's first win without a rushing touchdown since defeating South Florida, 20-6, on Oct. 14, 2010.

John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com.

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