The West Virginia team that comes into Byrd Stadium Saturday to do business with Maryland could be as wide open and diversified a crew as the Terrapins will face this year.
The Mountaineers don't have outstanding size and can't grind an opponent into the ground, least of all, one as big and strong as Maryland.
Instead, West Virginia will try to use its speed and quickness to outfinesse the Terrapins' physical advantages.
The Mountaineers had a cakewalk in their opener, breezing by Richmond, 36-0, Coach Frank Cignetti acknowledges that Richmond and Maryland are not comparable.
"They (the Terrapins) are potentially one of the top five teams in the country," Cignetti said. "They could evne be stronger than last year and they were comparable to (national champion) Pitt then.
"When we played them last year, they physically beat us up worse than anyone else did. Strengthen up front has always been a problem for us when we play Maryland. They just run all over us."
Maryland won last season, 24-3.
West Virginia has a better defense this year. It is still young, but like the offense, is agile and diversified. The Mountaineers operate out of a 5-2 defensive alignment. Many of the tackles are made by the two linebackers, 6-foot-1, 190-pound freshman Ken Braswell and 6-1, 200-pound junior Jeff Macerelli.
Braswell had 15 tackles and Macerelli 18 against Richmond.
The offense is led by quarterback Dan Kendra who completed 113 of 233 passes last year, but was intercepted 19 times in the process. That was not all his fault, however. Everyone knew the Mountaineers had virtually no running attack and that if they were going to move the ball it would have to be by Kendra throwing it. The opposition was ready for him.
This time around, however, Kendra has some help, most notably from freshman Robert (The Great) Alexander. He is already being likened by some to Pitt's Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett.
Alexander was all-state in football, baseball and track and averaged 20 points a game in basketball for South Charleston High School (W.Va.) last year. He is no Dorsett, however.
He does have at least one thing in common with the Dallas Cowboy rookie, however. Both are substitutes for the time being.
Playing behind senior Dave Riley, Alexander picked up 71 yards in 11 carries against Richmond.
Alexander's running should help keep the Maryland defense honest, but the Mountaineers will still live by the pass.
Kendra was five out of eight for 149 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, including an 80-yarder to sophomore Cedric Thomas. His favorite receiver, is Steve Lewis.
Kendra is a drop-back passer working out of a veer option offense and he makes it go.
Cignetti said he will install a few special things for Maryland and his offense will be even more wide open than it already is come Saturday.