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Smith leads WVU to road win over Maryland

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Geno Smith threw for a career-high 388 yards, and No. 18 West Virginia withstood a furious comeback by Maryland to pull out a 37-31 victory Saturday. After the Mountaineers (3-0) let a 24-point lead dwindle to 34-31 with 10:29 remaining, Smith directed a 14-play, 65-yard drive that produced a field goal with 4:42 left.

West Virginia held Maryland at bay throughout the game, capitalizing on big turnovers and scoring on important drives early, forcing the Terps into a hole that was simply too large to overcome.

In spite of a rough third quarter that saw the opposing Terrapins put up 13 unanswered points, the Mountaineers held on to win 37-31 in College Park on Saturday afternoon. The Mountaineers never trailed after taking the lead late in the first quarter, leading 27-10 going into the half and putting up 7 more points early in the third quarter.

The Terrapins looked as if they might be able to pull off the minor upset, pulling within three points of the Mountaineers early in the fourth quarter. On their next drive, the Mountaineers responded by driving 66 yards on 14 plays, including two big third down conversations, to score three points from a field goal on fourth and goal from the three-yard line. That insurance would be enough for the Mountaineers, who held the Terrapins scoreless for the final 10:29 of the game, including a big interception with 1:13 left in the game.

Through the Air

Quarterback Geno Smith put up 388 yards on 49 attempts with one touchdown and one interception on the afternoon. Smith's most frequent target was junior wide receiver Tavon Austin, with whom he connected 11 times for 122 yards.

On the Ground
Running back Andrew Buie led the Mountaineers rush attack, taking the ball a total of 51 yards on his 7 rush attempts, including one touchdown. The other West Virginia rushing touchdown of the day was scored by Vernard Roberts, who put up 36 yards on 12 attempts.

West Virginia's defense came up big against the passing game with three interceptions, one of which was taken 37 yards for a touchdown by junior defensive back Terrence Garvin.  They also managed to stop the Terrapins on 9 of their sixteen third down attempts

Mountaineers kicker Tyler Bitancurt was perfect on the afternoon, pushing the ball through the uprights all seven times he was called upon to do so, three times for field goals and four times for extra points. In the return game, Tavon Austin returned the ball 6 times for a total of 121 yards.

Today's game ball goes to Eain Smith, whose fourth quarter interception stopped any hopes of a Terrapins comeback with under two minutes left in the game.

Next week WVU will face their biggest test of the year as the third ranked Tigers of Louisiana State visit Morgantown.

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