Ralph Friedgen knew coming into tonight’s primetime match up against West Virginia if he could not find a way to stop runningback Steve Slayton it was going to be a long night for the offense to play catch-up. That is exactly what the Terps tried to do and failed miserably as they fell to the #4 Ranked Mountaineers, 31-14, in front of the fifth largest crowd at Byrd Stadium.
“Obviously I’m disappointed with the loss, but West Virginia is a good football team,” Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. “We kind of got worn down.”
What really wore the Terps down was the one, two ,three punch of Steve Slayton, Pat White and freshman Noel Devine, who just had their way with the Terps defense.
The lowlight of the night for the Terps came where Devine took the ball took the ball on the handoff from the left side of the field and took off for a 76-yard gain to the 1 yard line, where Slayton later punched the ball in for his fourth and final touchdown.
The combined by the Mountaineers back field effort, especially Devine, seemed to make WVU Head Coach Rich Rodriguez happy.
“He continues to run hard and be hungry,” West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. “He’s done more than we probably expected. He’s still learning his way, but he’s a gifted guy. I’m happy for him.”
For the Terps, runningback Keon Lattimore, who has been the key in the Terps first two victories, just could not shake the Mountaineers defense and managed on 80-yards and one touchdown.
The only other offense for the Terps came a little too late in the fourth quarter when Jordan Steffy threw for his first career touchdown, hitting Danny Oqeundo with a 22-yarder with 5:50 remaining in the game.
Friedgen doesn’t see the loss tonight as setback for the Terps who hit the road for two games againt Wake and Rutgers.
“I think there were a lot of positives in this game. Things weren’t going too well early in the game, but I thought our kids were able to get back in the game. I think we have a chance at being a good running team. We also have to get better at running the ball; we have to get more receivers involved. Our protection has to get better. We’ll look at the tape, and I thought our kids were fighting until the very end. We lost a good football game and we probably could have played better. I’m not discouraged at all.”