clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Either West Virginia has the best pass defense in the country or Maryland is in serious trouble

New, 87 comments

Or both. It could be both.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Well, that was all sorts of bad. Maryland's defense gave up yards in bunches, Maryland's offense couldn't stop turning the ball over, and the Terps hit double-digits in penalties for the second straight game.

Particularly bad was Maryland's passing game, which hadn't exactly been good before this anyway. We knew coming into the game that West Virginia had a fierce secondary, but this got ugly for Caleb Rowe.

Rowe threw one pass away, so that one is not included in this table.

Rowe Left Middle Right All
20+ yards 0/1, INT 1/5, 24 yards, INT 0/2, INT 1/8, 24 yards, 3 INTs
15-19 yards 0/0 0/0 0/2 0/2
10-14 yards 0/1, INT 1/1, 16 yards 0/0 1/2, 16 yards, INT
5-9 yards 1/1, 5 yards 3/3, 26 yards 0/1 4/5, 31 yards
0-4 yards 0/0 0/0 0/1 0/1
Fewer than 0 yards 2/5, -2 yards 1/1, -1 yards 1/2, -2 yards 4/8, -5 yards
All 3/8, 3 yards, 2 INTs 6/10, 65 yards, INT 1/8, -2 yards INT 10/26, 67 yards, 4 INTs

Rowe's performance on deep balls was ... less than desired. He found some success in short patterns over the middle of the field, but West Virginia's secondary was pretty much everywhere.

He was only able to complete four of eight pass attempts behind the line, for negative yardage. West Virginia's defense disrupted Maryland's blockers all day, to the point Rowe didn't even have time to throw on screens (and when he did, it was often batted down or snuffed out immediately).

Here's Daxx Garman.

Garman Left Middle Right All
20+ yards 0/1 1/3, 46 yards, TD, INT 0/1 1/5, 46 yards, TD, INT
15-19 yards 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0
10-14 yards 1/1, 13 yards 0/0 0/0 1/1, 13 yards
5-9 yards 0/0 1/1, 10 yards 0/0 1/1, 10 yards
0-4 yards 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0
Fewer than 0 yards 1/1, 17 yards 0/0 0/1 1/2, 17 yards
All 2/3, 30 yards 2/4, 56 yards, TD, INT 0/2 4/9, 86 yards, TD, INT

So better, pretty much all around! There are two very notable caveats, however: a) small sample size and b) snaps taken against the second-team defense. Still, it was an alright first showing for the Oklahoma State transfer, especially considering what Maryland had going on previously.

It's hard to say who the Terrapins should start going forward, but we know it's going to be Caleb Rowe against Michigan.

The performance brought West Virginia up to No. 3 in S&P+, No. 1 in rush defense and No. 9 in pass defense. Maryland's offense was completely stifled, and the one really successful play early on (Brandon Ross's long run) comically ended in a fumble out of the back of the end zone for a West Virginia touchback.

We've talked before about Mike Locksley's dubious track record as an offensive coordinator, and the Terps' inability to consistently move the ball was highlighted once again Saturday. Combine that with a defense that gave up 6.3 yards per play, and you've got a good ol' fashioned blowout.

Maryland has now played three quarterbacks through four weeks without any injuries at the position, which is not ideal.

Player Ht, Wt Year Comp Att Yards TD INT Comp
Rate
Sacks Sack Rate Yards/
Att.
Caleb Rowe 6'3, 220 JR 32 64 381 4 9 50.0% 1 2% 5.8
Perry Hills 6'2, 210 JR 27 51 306 4 2 52.9% 0 0% 6.0
Daxx Garman 6'1, 205 SR 4 9 86 1 1 44.4% 2 18% 6.6

Over to the receivers, Jahrvis Davenport caught his first pass of his career -- a 46-yard touchdown over the middle from Garman. He now leads the team in yards per target, which isn't ideal considering he's caught one of four passes thrown his away. Levern Jacobs continues to be the most targeted receiver on the team, while Amba Etta-Tawo surprisingly holds the squad's highest catch rate.

Stats from the whole season:

Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Targets Catches Yards TD Yds/
Catch
Yds/
Target
Catch Rate Target
Rate
Levern Jacobs WR 5'11, 188 JR 25 15 176 2 11.7 7.0 60.0% 22.3%
Amba Etta-Tawo WR 6'1, 200 JR 15 10 97 0 9.7 6.5 66.7% 13.4%
Avery Edwards TE 6'4, 234 FR 14 9 89 2 9.9 6.4 64.3% 12.5%
Taivon Jacobs WR 5'9, 165 SO 12 5 113 1 22.6 9.4 41.7% 10.7%
D.J. Moore WR 5'11, 205 FR 10 6 112 1 18.7 11.2 60.0% 8.9%
Wes Brown RB 6'0, 210 JR 10 6 51 0 8.5 5.1 60.0% 8.9%
Malcolm Culmer WR 5'11, 185 JR 9 5 63 1 12.6 7.0 55.6% 8.0%
Jahrvis Davenport WR 5'9, 193 FR 4 1 46 1 46.0 11.5 25.0% 3.6%
Derrick Hayward TE 6'5, 240 SO 3 2 10 0 5.0 3.3 66.7% 2.7%
Ty Johnson RB 5'10, 184 FR 3 1 7 0 7.0 2.3 33.3% 2.7%
Kenneth Goins Jr. RB 5'9, 233 JR 3 1 1 1 1.0 0.3 33.3% 2.7%
Brandon Ross RB 5'10, 210 SR 2 1 1 0 1.0 0.5 50.0% 1.8%
Shane Cockerille FB 6'2, 235 SO 1 1 7 0 7.0 7.0 100.0% 0.9%

As for the running backs, Brandon Ross has been by far Maryland's most explosive back this year, but the offensive line has afforded him the lowest percentage of opportunities.

Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Rushes Yards TD Yards/
Carry
Hlt Yds/
Opp.
Opp.
Rate
Fumbles
(Lost)
Brandon Ross RB 5'10, 210 SR 61 356 2 5.8 7.3 36.1% 1 (1)
Wes Brown RB 6'0, 210 JR 26 143 1 5.5 4.2 42.3% 0 (0)
Ty Johnson RB 5'10, 184 FR 24 133 1 5.5 4.4 41.7% 0 (0)
Perry Hills QB 6'2, 210 JR 11 119 0 10.8 8.3 63.6% 0 (0)
Caleb Rowe QB 6'3, 220 JR 8 41 0 5.1 4.0 50.0% 3 (0)
Levern Jacobs WR 5'11, 188 JR 1 -1 0 -1.0 0.0 0.0% 0 (0)

Moving forward to Michigan, Maryland needs better protection from the offensive line in the passing game, better push in the run game and more consistent play from the quarterbacking position. If the Terps continue to struggle like this on offense, it's hard to see them winning more than one or two games in conference play this year.