Holgorsen wants rivalry against Maryland to continue in the future
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 07:09
It’s not generally thought of as one of the No. 7 West Virginia football team’s biggest rivalries, but the border war between West Virginia and Maryland has been played 48 total times since 1919.
The schools sit less than 200 miles apart. Currently, the Mountaineers hold a six-game win streak over the Terrapins. Last season, WVU was able to hold off Maryland 37-31 in College Park.
With the Mountaineers now a member of the Big 12, it is vital West Virginia has a nonconference opponent from a "BCS" conference that geographically makes sense. WVU will play the Terrapins through 2017, which includes next year’s game at M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Baltimore Ravens.
"This is the one existing (historically significant) game that is going to be continued to be played," said WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen. "I’ve made reference to this a lot as far as the nonconference schedule having to be very regional."
Holgorsen also understands this rivalry holds significant meaning for the players. West Virginia has ten players on the roster who come from the state of Maryland. The fact Holgorsen’s staff and the Maryland staff go after the same players in recruiting also makes the game that much more significant.
"We have a dozen or so guys from Maryland that know a lot of their players. We go up against Maryland in recruiting a lot, so there is a lot of familiarity between the two programs, and that will continue to exist," Holgorsen said.
In a talent rich area throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., one player WVU missed in this recruiting class was Olney, Md. native Stefon Diggs, who now plays for Maryland.
Diggs, a true freshman, had offers from more than 20 schools, but he elected to go to Maryland over WVU. He now starts for Maryland and is drawing comparisons to another Maryland native, West Virginia senior inside receiver Tavon Austin.
"He’s a tremendous return guy," Holgorsen said. He’s a lot like Tavon (Austin) is. He’s their number one return guy. He’s the receiver they get the ball to in a variety of ways. We’re going to have to contain him."