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Geno Smith looks like an early Heisman Trophy finalist, putting on his best RG3 impression by throwing as many touchdowns as incompletions through the first two games of the season—nine.
Albeit, against soft defenses, Smith has completed 88 percent of his passes and has thrown for 9.8 yards per attempt in 2012.
However, the most important statistic so far is the number of times he’s been sacked—zero.
If Maryland wants any chance of keeping this game close, they need to put pressure on Smith early and often.
Unfortunately, the strength, relatively speaking, of Maryland’s defense is stopping the run, not stopping the pass.
They’ve also had little success stopping Smith in their previous two meetings. In those two games, Smith has a stat line of 55/78/656/5/1.
Maryland does not have the personnel to match up with Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey in the passing game, so expect those two to have monster games.
Running back Shawne Alston has looked great so far this season, and he may continue that success versus Maryland despite their ability to stop the run.
Maryland has yet to face a spread attack like the one West Virginia possesses, so the running game will be more difficult to stop than the likes of juggernaut offenses like William & Mary.
Long story short—Maryland will need to pressure Geno Smith and force him to make mistakes if they want to contend. Up to this point in the short season, that has been a difficult task for opposing defenses.