Don't Look Now, But West Virginia's Beatable

First off, a lot of things can happen in rivalry games, including uncharacteristic upsets. Secondly, playing West Virginia in Morgantown is a lot different than playing them at your own place. And of course, sometimes when a team plays poorly they come back the next week more focused and ready to play.

But even with all that, it has to be pointed next: West Virginia, also known as Maryland's opponent next week, just came within 12 seconds of losing to Marshall. (They ended up winning the game by three in overtime). Actually, "losing" doesn't really do that justice; for 54 minutes or so, that was a destruction of sorts. Marshall was by far the better team for the majority of the game, and it gets worse when you consider that just one week ago, Marshall was an absolute mess in a 45-7 loss to Ohio State that wasn't as close as the score.

Even in the brightest projections of Maryland's seasons, no one thought that the Terps would beat West Virginia. The Mountaineers are loaded with talent and Ralph Friedgen hasn't beaten them since 2004, in Steve Suter and Scott McBrien's final game. It simply wasn't a game Maryland was going to win.

But one Terp victory and one near 'Eer loss later, and all that changes. Marshall's not an intimidating team, and certainly not a team that's supposed to be beating WVU. But WVU's offensive line was overpowered and they had intermittent trouble running the ball, which is problematic considering their offense is run-based (they had just 148 yards passing). Brian Anderson, Marshall's QB, looked great against Marshall's secondary, too.

But I'll leave the more in-depth analysis for later. Like I mentioned earlier, playing West Virginia in Morgantown after a game like this could backfire, though not nearly as much as it could've had they lost. But it's obvious now: these guys are beatable. I'm not saying Maryland has a chance to start 5-0, but I'm not not saying it.

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