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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

48 Hours Away

Overhyped? Certainly possible.

Admit it. You've thought about it. "How good is this West Virginia team?" OK, they beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl last year. Yes, they are 2-0 this year. But they play in the Big East and have only beaten Marshall and Eastern Washington so far. Its tough to measure how good the Mountaineers are before they play a legit program, and their stars have yet to shine through on the big stage. After all, are Pat White and Steve Slaton really Heisman candidates?

Well, if you are like me, you are dying for these questions to be answered this Thursday. The Mountaineers will have their first legitimate game in less than 48 hours against the Maryland Terrapins.

West Virginia will try to establish their rushing game with the aforementioned White and Slaton, but if they struggle in this one, it will leave some doubt as to whether they are a top five program.

On the other hand, Maryland may not be your textbook upset team, but they have some potential. They have been climbing the ranks of the ACC, from a bottom dweller to a future contender. The Terps are 2-0, just like West Virginia, and are eyeing the running game of the Mountaineers. I predict that Maryland forces West Virginia to win this game through the air and thereby keeps them close in this one. If so, don't be surprised to see West Virginia drop a couple spots in the AP Poll a la Notre Dame-Georgia Tech.

The game will be aired on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 14.

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