WVU renews rivalry with Terps
MORGANTOWN – Those classic rivalries of years gone by have gone by the wayside with West Virginia University’s move to the more midwestern Big 12 Conference.
But the lone border battle on the Mountaineers’ schedule looms at 3:30 p.m. Saturday when they travel to Baltimore to battle the Maryland Terrapins.
“We don’t have many regional rivalries left,” WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday. “This is the only one that we play this year. I look forward to meeting more in the future. It’s something our boys are looking forward to.”
The game will be played at M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
“It’s important to our administration, and it’s important to our fan base,” Holgorsen said. “It’s important to our kids and recruiting. I’m looking forward to playing at the Ravens’ stadium in front of a good crowd and a good atmosphere. It will be good for WVU and Maryland.”
Maryland coach Randy Edsall said playing in such a large venue just a short distance away from campus is part of a plan to make the state’s flagship school more accessible.
“We’re trying to develop that Maryland pride,” he said. “I think from the standpoint you take a look at the number of kids that we have from the state and from that area that are going to be participating, it’s a great way for the people in Baltimore and in Baltimore County to come out and support some of their own and the rest of the football team.”
Holgorsen said he expects “some Mountaineer energy” to be packed into the stadium.
“It’s not a 100 percent home crowd,” he said. “It’s much like the Big East was. When you went to Pitt, West Virginia had a lot of people. When I went to South Florida, there were a bunch of West Virginia people.
“Much like Mountaineer Field is, the other nine opponents in the Big 12 have 95 percent of the fans of their own team.”
Despite leaving the confines of campus, Holgorsen takes a different view of this weekend’s contest.
“I don’t view this as an away game,” he added. “It’s more like a neutral site game. I know it’s a home game for Maryland. But I feel we travel pretty well, and there will be some Mountaineer energy there.”
Holgorsen also used his weekly press conference to announce the senior defensive back Brodrick Jenkins is no longer with the team. He declined to discuss the reasons for Jenkins’ departure, but he did elaborate on who would be replacing him.
“We’re excited about (sophomore) Terrell Chestnut,” the coach said. “We’ve wanted to get him more involved. Avery Williams will get some reps this week at corner. Daryl Worley played a good bit last week and has got tremendous upside potential as a starting cornerback.”