In the first half, it seemed as if WVU could score on every possession. The team did on five of eight possessions. A couple fumbles killed two drives. Holgorsen made a risky call to go for a fourth-and-3 that didn't pan out.
But one got the same feel that cloaked the Mountaineers when Rich Rodriguez coached the team - at least through three quarters. WVU didn't punt until there were but 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
When Mountaineer receiver Stedman Bailey torched his man on a deep ball to make it 34-10, it had that feel. The offense had a nice mix of tempo, personnel, play-calling and clock management. The team was grinding, the team was striking.
Credit Maryland, though, for stemming the tide.
"They played hard," Holgorsen said of the Terps. "We didn't for the majority of time in the second half."
Thankfully for WVU, Eain Smith intercepted a wild Danny O'Brien pass on what appeared to be a go-ahead drive. Had Maryland scored, it would have taken a one-point lead (eerily, the Terrapins were favored by one), but Geno Smith was able to take a knee after the pick to seal the WVU victory.
"To come up with a play like that, at an away game, is huge for the whole team," said linebacker Najee Goode of the interception.
It was. A victory over LSU would be monumental.
"It's another game to us," said safety Terence Garvin. "We're not looking at [LSU] as Almighty God."
For now, though, defeating Maryland suffices.
Good win? Yes. Great win? Not particularly.
But with the wheels spinning faster and faster in the area of conference realignment, it could prove to be very important. WVU has a solid national reputation when it comes to football.
But timing is everything.
Ask Eain Smith.
And now ask Oliver Luck.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.