September 10, 2014

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia was doomed by its own missteps in a blowout loss to Maryland last year, and some Mountaineers are vowing to atone for it this week.

When the Mountaineers (1-1) travel to play the Terrapins (2-0) on Saturday, there's some extra motivation among some West Virginia players.

''We know what it meant to us last year and what it now means,'' West Virginia safety Karl Joseph said. ''I try to forget about last year, but it is a big game for us. We owe them one.''

West Virginia was limited to six first downs and had six turnovers in the 37-0 loss in Baltimore.

To coach Dana Holgorsen, the difference was in West Virginia's mindset.

''What really got us beat last year was the mentality, the effort, the excitement level we didn't play with (and) the excitement level they did play with,'' Holgorsen said.

This year, ''I think our mentality is in a much different place,'' he said. ''The way we've been playing the last two weeks, I don't need them to change that.''

Last week the Mountaineers amassed 606 yards of offense in a 54-0 win over Towson of the Championship Subdivision.

But heading into the Maryland game last year, West Virginia also exuded confidence after coming off a 41-7 win over Georgia State.

West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett was a spectator against the Terrapins, still learning the offense while freshman Ford Childress got his second start.

Things unraveled quickly. West Virginia trailed 30-0 and had only two first downs by halftime.

''That's been haunting us forever,'' tight end Cody Clay said. ''I can't remember the last time I got blown out before that, ever. We've been waiting for this game for a while.''

The loss to one of its few remaining regional rivals was a microcosm of how the year went for West Virginia, which won only two games the rest of the season.

''I know the history of this game is important to everybody. It's important to our players,'' Holgorsen said. ''I know our fan base is looking forward to this one, as well.''

While West Virginia's defense was solid against Towson, it has forced only one turnover so far this season. New defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said he'd like to see his unit turn the tables on Maryland and come up with at least four turnovers.

''We have to do better as a defense to get turnovers,'' Gibson said. ''We have one this year. That's not good enough.''

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