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Thoughts on West Virginia football fans in Morgantown

Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen can blare John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in practice all week – like he has done before leading up to games at West Virginia – and it won’t really prepare players for the atmosphere they are about to encounter this weekend.

This is a spirited rivalry, and it’s good to see it will be played each year at least through 2017. From my experience, West Virginia offers the second-most hostile environment that Maryland has seen in recent years. I’ll keep Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium at the top of the list in the ACC. But the scene in Morgantown, W.Va., beats Clemson, it beats Florida State and it sure as heck beats anything else in the ACC (other than Lane, of course).

It’s also is a great place to watch/cover a game. I always enjoy going, although I’ve overheard small pockets of fans chant things I wouldn’t dare repeat here. Overall, the fan base is passionate and intense, much like Maryland’s basketball crowd. I covered Pittsburgh's victory over West Virginia up there a few years ago -- a significant upset that denied West Virginia a berth in the national title game -- and I can still picture tens of thousands of depressed fans trudging from the stadium into the black of night. They were crushed, and that image has stuck with me because they invested so much into their team.

And don’t think the players don’t care about this WVU-Maryland rivalry. I remember I asked Adam "Pacman" Jones a question after one West Virginia victory over Maryland – can’t remember the question – and he took serious offense to the question, as if I dismissed his program. He got fired up, his tone changed and he talked about how he’s not afraid of any school, etc., and that he’s from a rough neighborhood in Atlanta. That was the same game that West Virginia’s Kay-Jay Harris threw his hand in the air in the interview room and shouted, “We must protect this house!” mocking Maryland’s Under Armour commercial. He then said that was West Virginia’s slogan all week and asked, “Is Under Armour second-guessing why they didn’t come to Coach [Rich Rodriguez] to give him an endorsement deal?”

The trash talk is a prime ingredient in this rivalry. But regardless of whether any bad blood still exists, this will be a tough, competitive game on the field. Both teams are unbeaten, but significant questions loom for both. Should be fun. Can't wait.

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 14, 2010; 11:09 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Thoughts on the Robinson-O'Brien quarterback debate at Maryland

Comments

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Posted by: capsfan77 | September 14, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"From my experience, West Virginia offers the second-most hostile environment that Maryland has seen in recent years. I’ll keep Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium at the top of the list in the ACC."


It didn't seem to bother JMU this weekend. F*&K VT. Just put this season on the growing list of seasons that VT is overrated by everyone.

Posted by: Section505203 | September 14, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Maryland should think about leaving the ACC and joining the Big East. WVU is a natural rival and Maryland could play in a more competitive football and basketball conference.

Posted by: bkc08 | September 14, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Lol at the genius calling the Big East a more competitive basketball conference. Sorry, but your bball conference is not anywhere remotely near the basketball conference that the ACC is. Not even the same ballpark. Not when you have JV squads like South Florida, Rutgers and Depaul going a combined 6-48 in the 08/09 season. There are NO automatic wins in the ACC basketball schedule. None. Top to bottom the ACC is the strongest bball conference year in, year out and that isn't changing anytime soon.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 14, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps, Barno, you haven't been watching college basketball the last 5 years. The ACC will always have contenders from duke/unc, but nothing can touch the big east in terms of depth.

Posted by: WrongDog | September 15, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The Big East will be the first conference to crumble as expansion inevitably continues.

Posted by: petecard | September 15, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps, Barno, you haven't been watching college basketball the last 5 years. The ACC will always have contenders from duke/unc, but nothing can touch the big east in terms of depth.

Posted by: WrongDog | September 15, 2010 10:49 AM

Umm, the same ACC that had 5 of the 10 national champions in the last decade? 3 different champions - compared to the Big East's 2? And more appearances in the Final Four from the same amount of schools (4)?

Posted by: Kev29 | September 15, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Twerp Fans better bring their Hard Hats!!!!! Just kidding, but only slightly. The Beltway has UM, but mainly has the DeadSkins, the Caps, the Bullets and WV has ONE team, WVU, By God!!!!!

Posted by: wvumounties8 | September 15, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

If you can't get to Motown for the Game, go to Ragtime in Arlington for a dose of WVU fandemonium. Snapper Soup is for Dinner!!!

Posted by: JoeMck | September 15, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

To say that BE bball isn't the same caliber as ACC Bball is foolish. Big East and ACC are about the same in football and Basketball. If I ruled the world, ACC would go to 16 teams..add WVU, UConn, Cuse, Rut. Let the BE be a basketball only Catholic Conference. The above mentioned teams are good athletic fits. WVU has good BBall and Fball, UCONN is on the comeup in fBall. Cuse has a rich history in both, although fball has sucked for some time now.

Posted by: JoeMck | September 15, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

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