Quick Hits: No. 8 West Virginia 31, Maryland 21

By Chip Patterson | College Writer
Tavon Austin lays out for one of his 13 receptions from Geno Smith. (US Presswire)

WEST VIRGINIA WON. Maryland gave the No. 8 Mountaineers its best shot, but at the end of the day did not have enough answers for Geno Smith and Tavon Austin. Smith completed 30 of 43 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns, with 179 of those yards and all touchdowns going to Austin.

HOW WEST VIRGINIA WON: On the other side of the Smith-Austin connection, the Mountaineers were carried by playmaking cornerback Darwin Cook. Twice Maryland drives were halted by a fumble forced by Cook, both times occurring when the Terps were building momentum. There were issues for both teams on the ground, but West Virginia's 25 team rushing yards is likely going to be one of the major concerns moving forward.

WHEN WEST VIRGINIA WON: After both teams were held scoreless for the entire third quarter -- West Virginia's first scoreless quarter since late last season -- the Mountaineers extended their lead to 17 with a 34-yard touchdown catch by Tavon Austin. Frustrated with the offensive struggles, Smith and Austin took matters into their own hands in the second half. Maryland had no answers in the secondary for Austin's speed and ability to get open.

WHAT WEST VIRGINIA WON: After a pair of victories against decidedly inferior competition, West Virginia got a close look at the room for improvement heading into conference play. From developing a consistent rushing attack to simpler tasks like tackling, there are several areas of concern before the Mountaineers take on the Big 12 elite next month.

WHAT MARYLAND LOST: The Terps suffered their second straight loss, but considering the opponent and expectations I think there was a lot gained for Randy Edsall's young squad. Defensive coordinator Brian Stewart did a great job of preparing for West Virginia's high-powered offense, and the defensive line did a great job getting to Geno Smith. Perry Hills finished with an impressive stat line (20-29, 305 yards, three touchdowns, one interception), thanks in part to 113 yards receiving from fellow true freshman Stefon Diggs.

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