BALTIMORE, Md. — Some losses contain points of optimism. Others are complete washouts.

Ben Queen/Metronews photo

Will Clarke sacked Maryland’s C.J. Brown twice, but after a 37-0 loss he said WVU’s seniors “can’t let the season go downhill.”

Postgame visits with nose guard Shaq Rowell, defensive end Will Clarke and safety Darwin Cook—three seniors who had never experienced a loss to Maryland until Saturday—conveyed that West Virginia’s embarrassment extended far beyond its puny, turnover-plagued offense.

“Nothing,” responded Rowell when asked what positives WVU’s defense could derive from its 37-0 beatdown.

The Terps’ first touchdown drive covered only 24 yards after a Ronald Carswell fumbled punt. The Terps’ second touchdown drive covered a mere 6 yards after a Ford Childress interception. In between, cornerback A.J. Hendy’s pick-six interception accounted for another score. Those hardly were the fault of the defense. But unlike the Week 2 setback at Oklahoma, from which Rowell and his teammates plucked omens of encouragement, this loss carried a completely deflating tone.

“It was a disgrace to West Virginia and the 1.8 million people,” he said. “We beat this team seven times in a row, and they came out ready to play today and whipped our ass. Period. Point-blank.

“They talked trash in the media and they backed it up today. They just came out and beat our butt on all three sides of the ball today.”

Never mind that Maryland compiled 21 fewer yards (330) than it did in last season’s loss in Morgantown. Or that the Terps averaged a mere 2.4 yards per carry, about one-third their season average.

“I’m sure there’s things on film we can pinpoint out that we did well, but with a loss, I don’t see anything good,” Clarke said.

As the team prepared to board a bus outside M&T Bank Stadium, Clarke guessed that some players would spend the four-hour ride home watching game video on their iPads. Losses so startling and one-sided tend to spark teams into fix-it mode.

“We’ve got to rebuild,” Clarke said. “We can’t let the season go downhill. It’s only Game 4. We’ve got eight more guaranteed games left.”

Beyond those guaranteed eight? Perhaps a lower-tier bowl game if things are remedied, or an early winter if things aren’t. Embarrassing defeats against the likes of Maryland don’t bode well for WVU playing through the holidays.

“We were in the right mindset coming in, and everything felt good,” said Cook, who had no pregame intuition WVU would fall so flat. “But a lot of things went bad today.”

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Comments

  • Phil M.

    Uh Big Tom, I'm referring to the new Big East, the American Athletic Conference not the ACC !!

  • Eric

    Cut these kids a break. They know it was bad. I LOVE these kids. All of them. Win lose or tie...you know the damn saying. Thank you for coming to WVU. You guys are young and we know you'll get it together. Bleeding Blue and Gold till I die !!!!

  • big tom

    mainly, Luck and Dana wants us to continue buying the tickets and spending money at the games, other wise we are in deep trouble. so all you guys from Beckley, load up that motor home and head to touchdown city and have a beer and pizza and take in the game while you're here, and buy those 8 dollar beers at the game

  • Mike0569

    From what I am seeing, the defense is head and shoulders above the defense of last year. A strong defense in the Big 12 isn't very common. Look at the scores. But you can't expect those boys to play at those speeds for 40 minutes. And that is being generous. Someone has to step up on offense the way that Cook has on defense. Be a leader. Not sure if the QB has it then a WR or OL needs to. Work hard, find your rhythm and stay on the field a little longer and rest your defense.

    • Tom

      Another captain obvious here I see...

    • big tom

      let's put this into prospective,, last yr , our def. was almost dead last. So an improvement over last yr only says ,we are not dead last, and still very very bad...24 pts allowed w&m,, 37 Maryland,,,
      get use to it, we r a long way from being good at anything, our next objective is just to be fair at anything. be real people, and quit drinking the kool aid

  • Phil M.

    Oliver Luck is not the problem. He is the reason we are not in the AAC. He's a smart guy and will be good for us for a long time. Dana on the other hand, I'm not sure. He's got a lot to prove and so far he's not done well. The Orange Bowl was Coach Stew's guys. I also don't want to hear about how tuff the Big 12 is. Maryland and Syracuse are not in the Big 12 and they kicked our butts.

    • big tom

      you're so wrong ab out that phil m. just before we accepted the big 12 invite, he called the acc and asked one more time and they said one more time , we don't want you hicks.
      so he did what he had to do,, go into the big 12 which turns out money wise to be good, but travel wise is completely insane. but we're stuck here, we won't be invited to go anywhere else,, this is final and it sucks.

  • Tom

    Kris.

  • Scott

    Holgerson commented after the epic bowl win over Clemson (the team he inherited, he didn't recruit them) that WVU's football future couldn't be brighter. The bulb burned out Dana !! I'm not a fair weather fan, I've been fan since '72 and have gone to many bowl games. But I am not excited about Holgerson as coach, and I wish Luck would leave town.

  • Larry

    In fairness, I'm sure some of them do.

  • joe

    I say give Terry Bowden a shot he is loyal to wvu. he interviewed for the job and lost. If we will hire him he will never leave .He knows what being a West Virginian is all about.By the way he is doing a good job at akron.

  • Marcus

    At least they might take something to heart because it sure wasn't the game!!

  • D.P.

    Tim C - I completely agree with you!!!!!

  • pghmountaineer

    Get ready folks. There's more blowouts on the way. The team has talent but the coaching staff is in over their heads. They don't know what to do.

    • Larry

      Just be patient, they'll get this thing going in four or five more years!

      • BH

        In 2019 WV might have a good season.

  • Greg

    This is a young team. We've had to replace 15 starters on both sides of the ball over the last two seasons. Not making excuses, but the kids dug themselves into a hole very early in the game and couldn't pull themselves out. They had that deer in the headlight look in their eyes and that's to be expected. Lets see how this plays about before we storm the gates.

  • big tom

    as far as dana's assistants, they really really good recruiters, and they will bring in talent in the future, but right now, we are very talent thin, and this certainly is a work in progress ,,,

    the big question I have, is, dana HC material.Right now, during games, sometimes he acts like a little kid , gets mad and is stubborn, and makes by decisions.
    I know he wants to pass, but we first need a passer,,, Ford will get better, but right now, it's hard to take.
    Dana's head certainly is not in the game all he time,,, don't know where it is, maybe he's waiting on the Iowa job, who knows,, but he's a work in progress too.

  • John Yankosky

    Yes it is a sad to be a mountaineer Football and Basketball fan. And Yes it is going to be that way for quite awhile.

    Both teams have had to convert to recruiting Junior College transfer students to try and fill the team with players a few months before the season starts.

    Dana can not recruit. He is not committed to selling athletes on WVU. He expects someone else to bring in the talent.

    No one wants to go the Hall of Huggins hollering and condemnation and travel across the country twice a week.

    The football team has some great kids with some talent. Unfortunately for them the coaching staff was unable to get enough skilled players in enough positions for it to matter. When the other team has more players that are better than you, you are not going to win better games.

    That is why my heart says quietly go eers, and my ego thing says ROLL TIDE.

    Signed a loyal mountaineer with a sad heart!