Maryland–West Virginia football rivalry
|First meeting||October 18, 1919
West Virginia 27, Maryland 0
|Latest meeting||September 26, 2015
West Virginia 45, Maryland 6
|All-time series||West Virginia leads, 28–22–2 (.558)|
|Largest victory||Maryland, 54–7 (1951)|
|Longest win streak||West Virginia, 7 (2004–12)|
|Current win streak||West Virginia, 2 (2014–present)|
The Maryland–West Virginia football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Maryland Terrapins and West Virginia Mountaineers. The two schools are strong rivals due to several factors, including similar recruiting areas and the relatively short distance between each other, approximately 210 miles (340 km) apart. The two teams first played in 1919 and the series ran uninterrupted from 1980 to 2007. West Virginia leads the series 28–22–2. The two teams met for the Gator Bowl for a rematch at the end of the 2003 season. Until the series lapsed in 2007, the game was the longest continuously running non-conference game for both schools. After the 2015 edition in Morgantown, WV, the two teams will not meet again until 2020 in College Park.
The rivalry is arguably more competitive than Maryland's other two historically important games: Virginia and Penn State. For West Virginia, it may not be as emotional as the Backyard Brawl, but it is still an important game. Due to the game traditionally being played early in the season, both teams have historically viewed the game as a good measuring stick for the rest of the season.
ESPN personality and former Maryland assistant coach, Lee Corso said, that during the 1960s, the rivalry "was really competitive because of the fact that they would sometimes come to Maryland and recruit our players, and we would try to go to West Virginia and recruit some of them ... That adds to the rivalry."
This practice of poaching the opponent's areas of interest remains to this day. In recent history, Terps fullback Cory Jackson was a Morgantown native, while former quarterback Scott McBrien transferred from West Virginia after frustration over not starting. In McBrien's last college game, the 2004 Gator Bowl, he passed for a school bowl record 381 yards and three touchdowns during a 41–7 thrashing of the Mountaineers. Conversely, Heisman finalist Steve Slaton was originally offered a scholarship to Maryland but chose West Virginia when the offer was ultimately revoked. In the 2007 game Slaton exacted his revenge, running for 137 yards and three touchdowns against the Terps. Likewise, fullback Owen Schmitt from northern Virginia originally wished to play for Maryland, but when the school was uninterested, he walked onto the Mountaineers, from where he was since drafted into the NFL. Schmitt had his "coming out" party in WVU's 31–19 triumph over the Terrapins in 2005, gaining 80 yards on just six carries and contributing substantially to two Mountaineer touchdown drives which broke the game open early in the fourth quarter.
There was a two-year hiatus during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, in which Maryland played California and West Virginia played Colorado. The schools agreed to resume the series, scheduling games for each year from 2010 to 2013. West Virginia won the first game after the hiatus, 31–17 in Morgantown. On September 13, 2010, the two schools announced a deal to extend the series through 2017. The 2013 game, designated a Maryland home game, was played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Maryland dominated with a 37–0 shutout victory, the first since 1999. The following season, in 2014, West Virginia and Maryland combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense as the Mountaineers beat the Terrapins 40–37 on a last-second Josh Lambert field goal.
#15 Maryland 47, West Virginia 7
In the first game with one of the two ranked, #15 Maryland routed West Virginia 47–7. In the first half, head coach Jim Tatum guided the Terrapins to a 21–0 lead, and kept the Mountaineers offense from advancing past midfield all but once. In the third quarter, Maryland scored three touchdowns in quick succession. Six Maryland players scored, including two different centers, and back Ed Modzelewski twice. With the win, Maryland improved to 8–1 to help its case for an eventual berth in the 1950 Gator Bowl. The Terrapins extended their season scoring total to 233 points, the most in school history.
#5 Maryland 54, West Virginia 7
In Maryland's season finale before an already-secured berth in the 1952 Sugar Bowl, at halftime Maryland led 35–7. In the second half, coach Tatum fielded mostly reserve players to prevent running up the score. Back Ed Modzelewski had 14 carries for 131 yards and two touchdowns, which outgained the combined mark for the opposing team for the sixth time of the season. The Maryland defense stifled the West Virginia ground attack, which rushed only eight times for a net loss of 21 yards. The win preserved Maryland's perfect record, which made it the first undefeated Terrapins team in 57 years.
West Virginia 24, #11 Maryland 16
West Virginia snapped #11 Maryland's 15-game regular season winning streak, and ended their hopes for a second undefeated season. The Mountaineers dominated the first half behind an efficient effort by quarterback Dan Kendra who completed six consecutive passes and led the team to a 24–0 halftime advantage. The third touchdown came on a 54-yard Kendra pass to wide receiver Cedric Thomas, who was open because of blown coverage by cornerback Jonathan Claiborne, Maryland coach Jerry Claiborne's son. The West Virginia defense stifled Maryland's comeback bid in the final minutes with a stop on the two-yard line.
#17 West Virginia 19, Maryland 18
In a clash of eventual AP top twenty-finishing teams, the Mountaineers outlasted the Terrapins in a nail-biter when Maryland’s all-or-nothing bid for a game-winning two-point conversion attempt failed late in the game. Jeff Hostetler and Boomer Esiason each threw TD passes for their respective teams, and WVU kicker Paul Woodside boomed four field goals, three over forty yards. Mountaineer coach Don Nehlen later cited the victory as being more important than his team’s stunning upset of traditional power Oklahoma the previous weekend.
#20 West Virginia 31, #17 Maryland 21
West Virginia quarterback Jeff Hostetler threw interceptions which resulted in Maryland taking an early 10–0 lead. A touchdown by Mountaineers running back Ron Wolfley and field goal by kicker Ron Woodside tied it before halftime. In the second half, Hostetler threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Bennett to make it 24–10, which put the game out of reach. With the loss, Maryland was dropped from the Associated Press Top-20 Poll.
#12 West Virginia 55, Maryland 24
The highest-scoring game of the series began with Maryland running back Mike Beasley rushing for two touchdowns in the first four minutes. The Terrapins scored the first by capitalizing on Anthony Browns' fumble on the first play of the game on the West Virginia 11-yard line. The Mountaineers then rallied to score 17 unanswered points in the first half, and their defense limited the Terrapins to just five first downs in the remainder of the opening half. In the second half, West Virginia expanded its lead to a rout, and beat Maryland for the first time since 1983.
2004 Gator Bowl
#23 Maryland 41, #20 West Virginia 7
At the end of the 2003 season, #20 West Virginia and #23 Maryland met at a bowl game for the first time. Terrapins quarterback Scott McBrien, who had transferred from West Virginia, ran for one and threw three touchdowns. Explosive specialist and wide receiver Steve Suter returned a WV punt 76 yards for a touchdown, and all-time ACC scoring leader Nick Novak hit two field goals. In what was a rematch from an earlier regular season game that the Terrapins won 34–7, the result was even more lopsided as Maryland won 41–7.
|Maryland victories||West Virginia victories||Tie games|
- Marc Carig, One for the Border, Washington Post, 13 September 2007.
- Slaton scores 3 TDs to lead West Virginia past Maryland, ESPN, 13 September 2007.
- West Virginia 31, Maryland 19, ESPN, 17 September 2005.
- Maryland-West Virginia football added in 2012 and 2013, The Washington Times, May 20, 2009.
- Maryland Tips West Virginia, Daytona Beach Morning Journal, November 25, 1949.
- Maryland Whips West Virginia; Mo Modzelewski Outgains Opponent, Toledo Blade, November 24, 1951.
- West Virginia Surprises Maryland, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 19, 1977.
- Hoss Outduels Boomer, MSNSportsNET.com, July 26, 2000.
- 'Dogs tie one on against Clemson, The Times-News, September 19, 1983.
- Cavs gun for fourth straight, Evening Herald, September 22, 1983.
- COLLEGE FOOTBALL: East; Pitt Overwhelms Ohio State, 42-10, The New York Times, September 18, 1988.
- Another lopsided win for Maryland, ESPN, 1 January 2004, accessed 15 November 2008.