Sep 13, 2011

West Virginia at Maryland is the Champs Sports Bowl Game Of The Week

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This season, pick who you think will win the Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week and WIN! Answer the question on the Champs Sports Bowl Facebook page before Saturday’s game. If you pick correctly, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to the Champs Sports Bowl on December 29, 2011!

West Virginia leads series, 24-21-2 (Last meeting: Sept. 18, 2010: West Virginia 31, Maryland 17)

Old foes clash in College Park this week as Maryland plays host to Mid-Atlantic rival West Virginia. The schools, separated by just 200 miles, often battle over recruiting territory and area bragging rights. West Virginia holds a slight edge in the head-to-head matchup, winning the past five contests against the Terrapins. Maryland looks to rebound in the series after a strong performance in week one against ACC opponent Miami.

After a two-year hiatus, the schools renewed their rivalry in 2010. Led by four touchdown passes from quarterback Geno Smith, the Mountaineers cruised past Maryland 31-17 in Morgantown. All-Big East defensive end Bruce Irvin, who recorded three sacks in last year’s matchup, looks to build off his performance from a year ago. His task will be to disrupt Maryland signal caller and 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O’Brien, who opened the season throwing for 348 yards in a close win over the Hurricanes.

Each team boasts a first-year head coach in 2011. Randy Edsall took over at Maryland after the school’s controversial split with Ralph Friedgen. The former Connecticut coach guided the Huskies’ program from the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division 1-AA) to the school’s first-ever BCS bowl bid last season. Edsall made a splash in hiring away offensive coordinator Gary Crowton from LSU. Known for his “razzle dazzle” schemes at Oregon and with the NFL’s Chicago Bears, Crowton’s experience may prove invaluable to a new-look Maryland offense. The Terps also made a splash in week one with their uniform homage to the state flag. Under Armour founder and former Maryland football player Kevin Plank helped unveil 32 other potential jersey combinations last month.

West Virginia was also at the center of a bitter breakup when former head man Bill Stewart resigned, paving the way for coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen’s takeover. Holgorsen’s résumé is impressive, as well. After two successful years as offensive coordinator under Mike Leach at Texas Tech, Holgorsen led a Houston offense that finished third and first nationally in 2008 and 2009, respectively. In his only season as coordinator at Oklahoma State in 2010, he propelled the Cowboys’ offense from 61st to best in the nation.

Extra Points: The schools have squared off once in postseason play. Maryland blasted West Virginia 41-7 in the 2004 Gator Bowl after besting the Mountaineers by 27 points during the regular season. The bowl win was the Terrapins’ last victory against their rival.

Expert Picks

Michel Champagne Michel Champagne currently serves as Chairman of Florida Citrus Sports, where his duties include leading Team Selection Committee. He is the Vice President of Operations and General Manager, Orlando Region for Bright House Networks.
Pick: West Virginia
Season Record: 0-0
Greg Warmoth Greg Warmoth spent 11 years as the weekend sports anchor for WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando before switching to the news desk in 1997. He currently anchors Eyewitness News Daybreak, Eyewitness News This Morning on TV-27 and Eyewitness News at Noon.
Pick: Maryland
Season Record: 0-0
Marc Daniels Marc Daniels hosts The Beat Of Sports on ESPN 1080 AM in Orlando every weekday morning from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Daniels has over 20 years of experience on the air and is most well known as “the Voice of the UCF Knights” for all football, men’s basketball and baseball games on the UCF ISP Sports Network.
Pick: West Virginia
Season Record: 0-0
Jerry Greene Jerry Greene spent 33 years as a sportswriter at Florida Today, the Pensacola News Journal and the Orlando Sentinel before retiring in 2009. He now co-hosts The Beat of Sports with Daniels and contributes to’s Page 2 section.
Pick: Maryland
Season Record: 0-0


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