MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 22: Tavon Austin #1 of the West Virginia Mountaineers carries the ball for a touchdown in the first half against the Maryland Terrapins during the game on September 22, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Maryland Vs. West Virginia 2012: Tavon Austin, Geno Smith Lead Mountaineers To 31-21 Win

Geno Smith and Tavon Austin hooked up for three touchdowns on Saturday as WVU held off an unexpected test from border rival Maryland.

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College Football Rankings, Week 5: West Virginia Remains 7th In Coaches Poll

Although the West Virginia Mountaineers continued their winning ways defeating Maryland 31-21 Saturday, they were not able to move up any spots in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll.


Maryland Vs. West Virginia: Fans Happy With Win, Even If It Wasn't Perfect

The West Virginia Mountaineers didn't have their best performance of the season on Saturday, but they still beat Maryland, 31-12, and improved to a 3-0 record. West Virginia found themselves struggling on offense more often than naught, but Geno Smith hooking up with Tavon Austin is essentially a guarantee at this point, as the two connected 13 times for 179 yards and three touchdowns.

Some of the biggest issues with Saturday's game came on defense. The folks over at SB Nation's The Smoking Musket took a look at some of the good things and the bad things. Below, we've got the bad things:

Knee jerk observations (Bad):

  • Open field tackling was a BIG issue
  • Defense must get off the field on 3rd down better
  • Too many 3-and-outs for the offense
  • More punts today against Maryland than against LSU last season
  • Inconsistent punting and kickoffs
  • Lack of a true running game without Alston

Third down is clearly a point of focus for this team going forward, especially on defense, but the offense will need to improve as well. While Austin has been great, he'll be shut down against some of the tougher Big 12 opponents, and the Mountaineers won't be able to rely on him to make big play after big play to get them out of those third-down situations.

Still, they did go on to list some of the positives from the game, as well. The offense had no turnovers, Austin had a big game, and the defense was able to make those big plays, despite some breakdowns that made the game seem closer than it actually was. They managed to get a few sacks and forced three turnovers, one of which resulted in a 51-yard fumble return for a touchdown. It's good to see the negatives offset by the positives, but the biggest thing to take from all of this is that the Mountaineers picked up another win heading into their conference slate.

For more Mountaineers football, check out The Smoking Musket.


Big 12 Week 4 Scores: Kansas State Beats Oklahoma, TCU Tops Virginia

WVU moved to 3-0 with a 31-21 win over Maryland Saturday. As they get set to begin play in their new conference, here's how the rest of the Big 12 did.

On Friday, Baylor, which plays WVU next week, squeaked out a win against Louisiana-Monroe, 47-42. Nick Florence passed for 351 yards, with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Saturday, Kansas State upset Oklahoma, 24-19, in a game that will shake up the Big 12 landscape just as it was coming into view. Landry Jones threw for 298 yards for Oklahoma but threw a pick and also made a key fumble near his own goal line that resulted in a Wildcats touchdown.

No. 17 TCU easily beat Virginia, 27-7. Casey Pachall threw for 305 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, and Brandon Carter caught five passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.

Finally, 1-3 Kansas lost to Northern Illinois, 30-23. James Sims rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

For more Mountaineers football, check out The Smoking Musket.


Maryland Vs. West Virginia Final Score: Tavon Austin Leads Mountaineers To 31-21 Win

No. 8 West Virginia improved to 3-0 on Saturday with a 31-21 win over the Maryland Terrapins. It didn't come easy for the Mountaineers, as true freshman Perry Hills led the Terps and kept them close throughout. But the duo of Geno Smith and Tavon Austin were too much for Maryland, as the Mountaineers continued to rack up impressive numbers in Dana Holgorsen's offense.

WVU jumped in front by two touchdowns early, converting a score on the defensive side of the ball first. Darwin Cook came right through the center of the Maryland line and sacked Hills as he turned to hand off, forcing a fumble which the Mountaineers returned 51 yards for the touchdown. Three minutes later, Smith would connect with Austin for a 44-yard TD, their first of three scores.

But Hills and the Terps did not fold, charging back with two touchdowns of their own to even it up. At the end of the first quarter, Hills hit fellow true freshman Stefon Diggs and the heralded speedster took it down the left sideline for a 42-yard score. Diggs scored his second touchdown of the day in the fourth quarter, another big play strike from Hills that went for 56 yards and put Diggs over the century mark for the day. The Maryland freshman duo consistently responded when it appeared Holgorsen's offense would take control of the game.

With WVU holding a three-point lead, Smith and Austin would connect twice for 14 unanswered points that proved to be the difference. Their third touchdown came after a scoreless third quarter, the first one of the Mountaineers' season. Smith hit Austin in the middle of the field and speedy wideout took it in for a 34-yard score.

The Terps cut the lead back to 10 on the second big play by Diggs, but WVU's defense would dig in on the next possession and force a fourth and 20. The desperation situation resulted in a Hills heave that fell into the hands of WVU's Wes Tonkery.

Smith and the offense would salt the game away from there, moving the chains and killing the final four-plus minutes.

Box Score Hero: Tavon Austin finished the day with 13 catches for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Austin set a school receptions record with his big day, passing Jock Sanders, who established the mark in 2010.

Rankings Ramifications: While it wasn't their most dominating performance of the season, West Virginia should remain in the top 10. They have an opportunity to move up with three teams (Oregon, Oklahoma, FSU) ahead of them playing ranked teams on Saturday night.

But Did They Cover? The Mountaineers entered the game as 27-point favorites and were not able to cover.

For More On This Game: Visit West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket, plus SB Nation Pittsburgh. For more on Terps football, visit Maryland blog Testudo Times, plus SB Nation DC.

Next Week's Schedule: The Mountaineers will make their Big 12 debut, hosting Baylor in Morgantown. Maryland will be idle next week before starting their ACC schedule against Wake Forest in October.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

This story was originally published at SB Nation.


Maryland Vs. West Virginia Score: Terrapins Put Up A Fight, But WVU Leads 24-14

WVU's first half against Maryland didn't go quite as smoothly as the Mountaineers might have hoped, but they still finished with a 24-14 lead.

WVU jumped out to a lead halfway through the first quarter when Darwin Cook forced a fumble by Maryland quarterback Perry Hills, and Doug Rigg recovered and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown. The Mountaineers scored again a few minutes later with a 44-yard pass from Geno Smith to Tavon Austin.

With two minutes left in the quarter, though, Hills hit Stefon Diggs for a 42-yard touchdown pass. Then Maryland quickly forced a three-and-out, and Hills marched downfield against the Mountaineer defense, eventually completing a 12-yard pass to Marcus Leak to tie the score at 14.

West Virginia took the lead again on the next drive, which ended with a 37-yard field goal by Tyler Bitancurt. Then, after a series of three-and-outs, the Terrapins gave Smith the ball back with three minutes left in the half, probably not what they wanted to do. Smith launched a drive that ended with a touchdown pass to a wide-open Tavon Austin, and the Mountaineers took a 24-14 lead.

Maryland got the ball back and marched downfield, but missed a 42-yard field goal shortly before the half ended.

Smith went 14-for-23, equaling the number of incompletions he had in his first two games combined, but he ended up with 209 yards for the half.

Shawne Alston, the Mountaineers' usual starting running back, played sparingly while dealing with injury issues.

For more on the Mountaineers, check out The Smoking Musket.


Maryland Vs. West Virginia 2012: Game Time, TV Schedule, Spread And More

The No. 7/8 West Virginia Mountaineers will look to continue their offensive dominance as they host the Maryland Terrapins at Mountaineer Field on Sunday. WVU has rolled through their first opponents, winning by an average of 32.5 points.

Quarterback Geno Smith leads the charge for West Virginia. The senior has risen to the forefront of the Heisman debate after completing 88 percent of his passes for 734 yards and nine touchdowns through two games. He'll look to continue his excellent play, even in the face of devilish schedule makers.

Maryland comes into the game with a 2-1 record after falling to Connecticut in Week 3. While defending West Virginia's offense is of primary concern for the Terrapins, dealing with the Mountaineers' strange defensive scheme will be a challenge as well.

West Virginia has defeated Maryland six straight times.

Game time, TV channel: Noon ET, FX

Point spread: West Virginia favored by 26.

For news, discussion and more: For more on WVU football, visit West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket, plus SB Nation Pittsburgh. For more on Terps football, visit Maryland blog Testudo Times, plus SB Nation DC.

While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel:

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