Early Analysis: West Virginia vs. Maryland

West Virginia (2-1) vs. Maryland (3-0)
at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EST, ESPNU
Line: Maryland -4.5

With all of the conference flipping and lack of loyalty to regional rivalries, West Virginia and Maryland have found a way to keep playing each other on a regular basis.

The Mountaineers lead the all-time series 31-21 and WVU is riding a seven-game winning streak. But Randy Edsall may finally have the talent to lead the Terps to win over the rival.

The two programs are a combined 5-1, but not a single win has come against anyone decent. So the winner of this game will have a better feel for how good they really are.

ford-childressFor West Virginia to win: One season after fielding arguably the nation’s worst defenses, WVU’s squad has been fairly respectable in 2013. If the defense can put together another strong outing and help put the offense in good position this one could go the Mountaineers’ way.

For Maryland to win: Cut back on the turnovers and self-inflicted wounds. Maryland has moved the ball well in three games, but if the Terps don’t convert when they get a chance it will cost them against WVU.

Key Player (West Virginia): QB Ford Childress made his first start and he delivered a solid outing. He threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-7 victory over Georgia State. Maryland’s defense is going to be much better, so the redshirt freshman will need to improve exponentially this week.

Key Player (Maryland): QB C.J. Brown is capable of causing defenses all kinds of problems on the ground and through the air. Last week he threw for 277 yards and ran for another 122 yards in a 32-21 win over Connecticut. He’s the type of quarterback that WVU can have trouble with.

Key Stat: Maryland is looking to open a season 4-0 for the first time since 2001 when the Terrapins won their first seven games.