COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Declare WVU safety Terence Garvin a symbol of the Mountaineer defense's effort in a 37-31 Saturday victory here over Maryland.
He started off strong, snatching a pass away from Terrapin receiver Kevin Dorsey and returning it 37 yards for a touchdown. His day soured somewhat toward the end, when he rolled his knee. But in the end, Garvin - and the Mountaineer defense - survived nicely.
WVU's defense looked strong in the first half, allowing the hosts to convert but 3-of-9 third-down opportunities and giving up just one touchdown. In the end, the Mountaineers allowed 477 yards of offense.
However, safety Eain Smith intercepted a wild pass of Terps QB Danny O'Brien to end a potentially lethal Maryland drive and effectively seal a Mountaineer victory.
"I was thinking, 'Catch it. End the game. Go home,''' Smith said.
"That was huge," said linebacker Najee Goode. "That was real big. They really weren't doing any drop-back passing early in the game. At the end, coming with that play, was real big. It was exactly what we needed. We needed a turnover or a stop."
They got both and the victory.
Smith shared his perspective of the game-winner.
"We checked to a coverage and I sold another coverage," said the 5-foot-11 senior. "The quarterback didn't read it right. I was in the right place at the right time."
Much like Garvin - and the WVU defense - in the first half.
"We played really good in the first half," Garvin said. "We came out excited, really motivated. Our coach was pumped up."
The 6-3 junior from Baltimore was, as well, after his interception for a touchdown.
"It felt great," he said. "Coming back home ... my mom actually told me this morning, 'You're going to get one. I can feel it.' I got one. I'm happy."
That waned somewhat at the end, when Garvin was hurt.
"It's my knee, it got kind of rolled up on," he said. "It felt kind of weird. It hurt. They said it was a bruise. I'm going back to West Virginia and really find out."
There are other concerns too. Like WVU's second-half defensive performance.
"We just didn't play like us," Garvin said. "We weren't attacking, we weren't coming down hill. We weren't flying around like we were in the first half."