This going to be short and sweet. If we accomplish all of these, we’ll blow Maryland out. Accomplish more than we don’t and we should win. If you’re checking this list in the 4th quarter thinking these were unrealistic goals, we’re probably in trouble.
- Stop, contain, bruise, and batter Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore. Maryland has a good rushing attack, but luckily, we are strongest against the run. Both Ball and Lattimore can make us pay if we allow them through the first line of defense and get one-on-one with our linebackers or safeties. In my mind, Reed Williams and Mortty Ivy need to be on their A games for this task. They’ve played very well to start the season, let’s hope that continues tonight.
- Pressure QB Jordan Steffy. This, with any game the Mountaineers play, is a huge key. If we pressure the quarterback, our defense can be stifling. With all those athletic safeties, pressuring the quarterback forces him into bad or at least low percentage decisions. That is when our turnover rate goes WAY up. Steffy, in his career, has only faced Villanova and Florida International. If Dykes plays — and I hope to God that he does — we can give this kid a rude introduction to top 5, BCS-caliber football.
- Get the offensive line to the next level. That is, get them off their initial blockers and have them creating space downfield. Our rushing attack is at its best when our offensive line is 5 yards downfield almost immediately. This wasn’t too much of a concern the past two years as we had anchors in Jeremy Sheffey and Dan Mozes. This year, however, it’s been a bit more difficult a task. If guys like Stancheck, Isdaner, and Rodemoyer can get us downhill and engage those Maryland linebackers, White, Slaton, Schmitt and Devine should all have huge days.