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WVU vs. UM Just Makes Good Sense

May 21, 2008
MORGANTOWN — As far as West Virginia University is concerned, its football rivalry with Maryland will be resumed automatically in 2010.

Two games remain on an existing contract, according to Mike Parsons, deputy director of athletics. UM asked that those be delayed for two years so the Terps could play a home-and-home series with California in 2008-09.

“That contract wasn’t up when they asked to get out of the scheduled games these next two years,” Parsons said on Tuesday. “We also will be negotiating for more games in the future.”

This is the first interruption in the WVU-Maryland football rivalry since 1980. There have been 29 meetings in the last 28 years, including a Toyota Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, 2004, which was a rematch of the 2003 regular-season game.

Maryland won both of those contests handily. West Virginia has won the last four clashes, though, and leads the all-time series by a 23-21-2 edge.

As you can see, this has been a closely contested rivalry over the long haul, despite an layoff here and there, and it just makes good sense for WVU and Maryland to continue meeting not only in football but in basketball as well.

The last lapse in the rivalry was in 1978 and 1979.

West Virginia shut out Maryland 27-0 ‘way back there in 1919 in the very first meeting, and the schools did not clash again in football until 1943. That was by far the longest lapse in the series.

Parsons said UM has given no indication that it intends to drop the football rivalry. If the Terps wanted to get out of those two games still under contract, it could cost them big bucks.

As for resuming the basketball rivalry, he said it would be up to the close relationship between UM coach Gary Williams and WVU assistant Billy Hahn. As reported earlier, Hahn was an assistant under Williams for 12 years and is a Maryland alumnus.

The two have talked about the possibility of scheduling some future games.

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A couple of preseason football magazines are about to hit the newsstands, and Mike Montoro says WVU and several of its players are getting recognition in those publications.

Lindy’s ranks the Mountaineers No. 9 nationally and projects them to win the Big East championship. That magazine rates WVU’s veteran offensive line No. 4 and its backfield No. 5 in the country.

Senior offensive lineman Ryan Stanchek made Lindy’s All-America first team, and senior Patrick White was listed No. 3 among the nation’s leading quarterback. Stanchek is the No. 3 tackle, junior Greg Isdaner No. 7 among offensive guards and sophomore Noel Devine No. 11 among the nation’s running backs.

White, Devine, Stanchek, Isdaner and kicker/punter Pat McAfee were named to the All-Big East first team. Second-team selections include center Mike Dent, kickoff-returner Devine, sophomore defensive lineman Scooter Berry and linebacker Reed Williams.

Libby’s named White the Big East’s MVP, Devine the toughest to bring down, and Stanchek the best run blocker.

Three newcomers were listed among the league’s top 20. They are junior defensive lineman Tevita Finau, freshman offensive lineman Josh Jenkins and freshman offensive lineman Benji Kemoeatu.

Finau was named the most likely to be the best NFL player, and freshman cornerback J.J. Dorsey was selected as the top sleeper.

Montoro, WVU’s director of football communications, said Phil Steele’s publication named White to its All-America second team and also to its All-Big East second team.

Other Mountaineers on the league’s first team are Devine, Isdaner, Stanchek, Williams and safety Quinton Andrews. Dent, linebacker Mortty Ivy, McAfee as a punter, and Devine as kick-returner are on the second team.



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