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QB Daxx Garman makes Maryland debut in blowout loss

West Virginia defensive lineman Darrien Howard (49) and cornerback Nana Kyeremeh (5) tackle Maryland quarterback Daxx Garman (18) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Morgantown, W.Va. West Virginia defeated Maryland 45-6.
West Virginia defensive lineman Darrien Howard (49) and cornerback Nana Kyeremeh (5) tackle Maryland quarterback Daxx Garman (18) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Morgantown, W.Va. West Virginia defeated Maryland 45-6.(Ray Thompson / Associated Press)

Through more than 3 ½ games featuring uneven Maryland quarterback play, Daxx Garman remained on the sideline, headset and red baseball cap on his head, signaling in plays from the sideline with the other backup quarterbacks.

But with 2 minutes, 51 seconds left in the third quarter of Maryland's 45-6 loss at West Virginia on Saturday, Garman finally got the chance to lead the Terps offense after starter Caleb Rowe threw four interceptions and struggled to establish any rhythm with an offense that had clicked a week earlier against South Florida.

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In his Maryland debut, Garman, the Oklahoma State transfer, went 4-for-9 for 86 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while taking two sacks. Rowe went 10-for-27 for 67 yards with his four picks. He was sacked once.

After the game, coach Randy Edsall leaned toward Rowe remaining the starter when Maryland opens Big Ten Conference play next week in a prime-time, nationally televised matchup against Michigan at Byrd Stadium.

When asked if Rowe would start against the Wolverines, Edsall said: "We'll sit back and watch the film and evaluate it and go from there and see what happens after we … sit down and talk about it as coaches, but I would think that he would be, yes."

Garman entered with the Terps trailing 38-0 after Rowe had thrown his second of two interceptions in the end zone. On his first series, Garman scrambled up the middle for 6 yards, took a sack that lost3 yards and then threw a third down pass in the direction of tight end Avery Edwards that wasn't particularly close to any player on either team.

Garman had more success on his next drive. After two runs by running back Ty Johnson and a West Virginia penalty put the Terps in Mountaineers territory, Garman hit freshman wide receiver Jahrvis Davenport up the seam on the left side for a 46-yard touchdown. He was sacked on the subsequent two-point conversion attempt. Garman's interception came on the game's final play.

Maryland's updated depth chart for the Michigan game is slated to be released Monday.

Fumble overshadows Ross' big day

Running back Brandon Ross was running in the clear down the left sideline, poised to score and help Maryland cut into West Virginia's five-touchdown lead in the second quarter when Mountaineers cornerback Terrell Chestnut dove at his shoelaces and tripped him up inside the 10-yard line.

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As Ross fell to the ground, the ball fell out of his arms and it skittered out the back of the end zone for a turnover and a touchback. While West Virginia didn't score on its ensuing possession, Ross squandered the Terps' best chance to score until they finally got on the board in the fourth quarter.

"He just made a good play, to be honest with you," Ross said. "I thought I was going to score and then he had got me on my legs, and I wasn't really securing the ball as good as I should have, and it just popped out. He didn't really hit it out. He just tackled me and the ball came out. That was a good play on his part."

Ross finished with 15 rushes for 130 yards for an average of 8.7 yards per carry with a long of 55.

After Ross rushed for 150 yards in the season opener against Richmond, the Maryland running game had mostly been dormant in the Terps' past two games. But on a day when the Maryland passing game struggled, Ross provided a bright spot for the offense despite his turnover.

He was able see the gaps in West Virginia's 3-3-5 defense and get into the second level and have the opportunity to make players miss or break tackles to pick up extra yardage.

"The holes was there," Ross said. "That just comes down to our preparations in practice and then in the film room we knew on some of those stretch plays, they were vulnerable and really all we had to do was hit them. That's where a lot of my big yards came. That was just preparation. We just got to continue to do that."

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Holgorsen exacts his revenge

In the lead-up to Saturday's game, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen recalled Maryland's 37-0 win over the Mountaineers in Baltimore in 2013. Even though the Mountaineers won a year later in College Park, it was clear that the matchup two years ago was still fresh in his mind.

"I've reminded my team with what happened two years ago," Holgorsen told reporters this week. "It's not something that I can hide from or run from. It's the worst defeat that I have ever taken."

After the Mountaineers' throttling of the Terps, though, Holgorsen seems to have gotten his revenge. West Virginia carried a 38-0 lead into halftime, and in the third quarter, Holgorsen called a fake punt on fourth-and-12, and punter Nick O'Toole ran for 13 yards and a first down.

Holgorsen was asked after the game about his memory of that game two years ago on a rainy Saturday in Baltimore. And it seems like he's finally put that 37-0 loss behind him.

Said Holgorsen: "We rectified that in the first half."

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