Mountaineers pass Terps by Kelchner is latest to put up big stats

September 19, 1993|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- After West Virginia quarterback Jake Kelchner studied films of Maryland's defense last week, he smiled.

"I was happy to see them play the way they played," said Kelchner. "Their defensive backs played really soft and we thought we could throw on them."

Nothing new. Virginia and North Carolina ran up big passing numbers on the Terps the previous two weeks. So did Kelchner last night.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior completed 15 of 19 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns. He had completions of 40, 67 and 18 yards as the Mountaineers ran up 542 yards of total offense and defeated the Terps, 42-37, at Byrd Stadium.

"We came out and threw everything at them," said Jim Freeman, the West Virginia fullback. "They couldn't stop us."

Why?

Maryland's variations of the 46 defense, the one that uses athletic talent and was made famous by the Chicago Bears during their 1985 Super Bowl season and borrowed by the Washington Huskies, was not effective.

Maryland simply doesn't have the talent to play it.

"They try to crowd the line of scrimmage with six, seven and eight guys, and dare you to throw," said Ed Hill, West Virginia's wide receiver. "They use a free safety, but he's more for run support."

"They make you throw outside and think they can cover you one on one," said Hill. "We knew we could take advantage of that."

The Terps had no one who could stop West Virginia receivers Mike Baker and Jay Kearney. Baker had eight catches for 126 yards and Kearney had three for 104.

Kearney had a 67 yard touchdown catch from Kelchner with 12:10 left in the second quarter, and Baker caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Kelchner with 8:49 remaining.

"When you crowd the line of scrimmage like that, you leave your cornerbacks on an island," said Hill."They started off by giving us the big cushion, then they started crowding us."

And when that happened . . .

"We have some big-play people and that's what we came up with -- big plays," said Kearney.

But it just wasn't West Virginia's passing game. The Mountaineers' offensive line pushed around Maryland's inexperienced defensive front. Tailback Robert Walker had 161 yards rushing on 25 attempts.

"We knew they were inexperienced and we tried to confuse them with our schemes," said West Virginia senior left tackle Rich Braham. "We opened up with straight zone blocking, and then we went with some traps and sweeps in the second period."

"We isolated on their inside linebacker [Chad Wiestling, six tackles] a couple of times and their linemen let us get to him. I think Maryland will get better.

"The key for them is control," said Braham. "There were times when they lost it. That maturity will come once they get a few more games under their belts. Those guys never quit."

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