Moten's play could have changed Maryland-West Virginia outcome?
The single play I wanted to ask defensive coordinator Don Brown about was a critical one. There was 4:03 left in the third quarter Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va., and Maryland had just crept back into the game after quarterback Jamarr Robinson connected with wide receiver Torrey Smith on an 80-yard touchdown reception. The score was 28-14.
On first down from the West Virginia 26, quarterback Geno Smith threw a screen pass to Tavon Austin. Linebacker Adrian Moten read it well. He jumped in front of Austin, the ball landed in his hands. There was a bit of a scrum. Austin pried the ball out a split second later. Cornerback Trenton Hughes recovered the ball.
The call on the field was an incomplete pass. Maryland challenged the call on the field, but it was upheld after replay. Sitting high above the field in the press box, I knew the play was close but could not tell what had really happened from that distance. After seeing it on replay several times in the press box, I thought Moten had intercepted the ball and that Austin forced a fumble and that Hughes recovered the fumble. It would have given Maryland excellent field position and perhaps – perhaps – changed the complexion of the game.
“I rule an interception, a strip by the receiver and a fumble recovery by Hughes,” Brown said. “That’s how I ruled it. Now, I didn’t have the benefit of watching on ESPN, but I heard their perception was very similar to mine.
“If we get that turnover there, at 28-14, what happens the rest of the game? It’s hard to predict. Even though we got off the field in that series, it still is a momentum swing. The thing is, we made plays, but where was it early?”
I felt that West Virginia, even up 28-0, would do its best to let Maryland back in the game. And the Mountaineers did. The Jock Sanders completion to Kenny Tate was quite interesting. But the Terrapins could not take full advantage of the gifts. So they are 2-1.
| September 22, 2010; 2:05 PM ET
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