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Maryland-WVU Preview: 5 things you need to know

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Maryland-WVU Preview: 5 things you need to know

Maryland faces West Virginia on Saturday in the team's final non-conference game of the season, a crucial border rivalry in Week 4. Below are five things you need to know about the matchup, a 3 p.m. kickoff in Morgantown, W.V.

1) A second start for Caleb Rowe

Rowe had his ups and downs against South Florida last week. His four touchdowns were discounted a bit by his three interceptions, but it was clear that Maryland's offense runs more effectively when he is under center as opposed to the man he replaced, Perry Hills. 

Now comes a road challenge and a rivalry game. West Virginia's 3-3-5 defense is a challenge by itself, a very versatile defense that will test what appeared last week to be a reawakened Maryland passing offense.

Limiting turnovers will be important for Rowe, who can't afford to put the Maryland defense in compromising situations against a WVU offense that can put up points in a hurry without any extra help.

2) Struggles against the spread

Bowling Green gave it to Maryland in the second half of their game in Week 2, using the up-tempo spread offense to exhaust the Terrapin defense and put together back-to-back 99- and 73-yard touchdown drives that put the game away. 

But Maryland insists that having seen what Bowling Green can do prepares them for West Virginia. Linebacker Jermaine Carter said BGSU was "fast as hell" but now at least they know what they'll be up against. Mario Alford and Kevin White are gone to the NFL from last year's team, but wide receivers like Shelton Gibson and Jovon Durante are still threats.

MORE TERPS: CAPTAINS, UNIFORMS, NOTES VS. WVU

3) So have a pass rush, but not too much pass rush

Surprisingly, Maryland currently ranks second in the nation in sacks (14) through three games, due in large part to the work of Yannick Ngakoue and the new 4-3 defense being employed by new defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski.

But there is a catch, which Maryland saw a little bit of against Bowling Green.

Pursuit is great, but overpursuit is bad. Against a dual-threat quarterback like West Virginia's Skyler Howard, overpursuing can leave running lanes for the quarterback when the pocket breaks down and that can be just as bad as not getting pressure on the quarterback at all.

Maryland needs pressure, but pressure with containment.

4) First time on the road in 2015

Maryland is young in a lot of key spots, either with underclassmen or first-year starters. That means that Saturday will mark the first road game of the season and the first road game in a starting role for many. With that comes a level of understanding about how to operate in a road environment.

In front of a raucous crowd like the one Maryland will see in Morgantown, communication is paramount. That starts with Rowe, who had some issues with his offensive line during his first start. That also extends to the defense, where against the spread (as mentioned above) there have been issues in the past.

5) Can the running game get going?

After Maryland Week 1 win over Richmond, it looked like the much-improved offensive line would catalyze the two-headed (or even three-headed) rushing attack coming out of Maryland's backfield. But Brandon Ross and Wes Brown have had limited success in the two weeks since.

The running game obviously makes Rowe's job easier by pulling defenders down into the box, which opens up options over the top in the passing game. But it also helps the defense by stopping the snowball effect of the spread offense by sustaining drives and giving the defense a breather.

It's not a coincidence that Maryland lost a game in which its defense was on the field 63 percent of the game -- against Bowling Green -- and no coincidence they beat USF when that split was nearly 50/50. 

Play defense against West Virginia by playing some offense, too.

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Maryland's Kevin Huerter surprises at 2018 NBA Combine

Maryland's Kevin Huerter surprises at 2018 NBA Combine

Going into the 2018 NBA Combine, Kevin Huerter was not receiving much hype, was off many NBA Draft boards, and many assumed he was heading back to college anyways.

Playing in the first scrimmage of the combine process, all those storylines quickly changed.

Playing against players like Jacob Evans, Donte DiVincenzo, Udoka Azubuike, and Jevon Carter, Huerter emerged as one of the top stars. The two-year Maryland spot-up shooter saw 25 minutes of action and only trailed Penn State prospect Tony Carr in points on his squad.

With 14 points (5-11 FG, 3-8 three-pointers), Huerter showed development since he was last seen with the Terps. His passing was the biggest asset for his team and was not afraid to take a shot against these top defenders.  The 6-7 forward also added three rebounds, an assist, and had only one turnover.

Although his shooting in-game was not fantastic, in the individual drills he showed off.  Of the seven shooting marks, he ranked in the top five in five of them.  He also had the best shuttle run (2.96 seconds).

No question, Huerter’s draft stock significantly rose. Although still early, he is looking to be the highest rated Terp prospect this year over Justin Jackson and Bruno Fernando.

Consensus among those at the NBA Combine seems to believe that Huerter will return for his junior season at Maryland.

After today though, it may be hard to say no.

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Panthers' first-round pick D.J. Moore visits Maryland with his new puppy

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Panthers' first-round pick D.J. Moore visits Maryland with his new puppy

D.J. Moore has an adorable new puppy!

Days after the Carolina Panthers selected Moore as the No. 24 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the former Maryland wide receiver returned to his roots and paid a visit to College Park.

But the first-rounder wasn’t alone when he went to Maryland. According to the Terps’ football Twitter account, he brought his new puppy with him. Seriously, look at this puppy!

MORE NFL DRAFT: GRADING THE REDSKINS' DRAFT PICKS

The Big Ten Receiver of the Year in 2017, Moore was obviously a crucial component of the Terps’ offense. He finished the season with 80 catches — a Maryland single-season record, which was also a Big Ten high.

He declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season with Maryland.

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