MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia's defense tends to look at statistics a little differently than many others.
Forcing a field goal in the red zone isn't ideal, but it's better than allowing a touchdown.
The Mountaineers know they'll give up some high yardage totals when Big 12 Conference play begins, but they say scoring defense is far more important.
Sacks are subjective and WVU believes other things are just as critical. That explains why coaches track things like making the quarterback shuffle and reset his feet or how many times he checks down to a shorter, quicker route.
None of that is a sack, but it's pressure and the Mountaineers want to stress the passer. Yet WVU's defense wasn't backing away from the implication of having just one sack against Marshall and entering Saturday's win against James Madison tied for the fewest sacks in the country.
Nor is WVU shying from four sacks against the Dukes and an effort that bumped them up to No. 40 in the nation.
"We did better, but we could have had more," WVU defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said. "We let them get out of the pocket. We pressured a bunch, but he's very elusive and got out of some situations where we had him hemmed up. That's where we've got to improve.
"When we're blitzing, we have gap lanes and we have to make sure everyone is in the right lane so when we do blitz, it's not just a mass exodus. We have to attack and be disciplined."
No. 8 WVU (2-0), which hosts Maryland (2-1) at noon Saturday (FX telecast), didn't blitz much against Marshall, not even on a list of third- or fourth-and-longs.
The Mountaineers were much more aggressive against JMU and swift quarterback Justin Thorpe. He ran 11 times for 45 yards and many of his runs and most of his longer runs came when he slipped out of a near sack.
"I think it was a good test for us," linebacker Doug Rigg said. "He was a real athletic, scrambling quarterback who was a lot faster than he looked - and he didn't look slow. That was a good test for us because we're going to see a lot more mobile quarterbacks."
Maryland quarterback Perry Hills, a graduate of Pittsburgh's Central Catholic High, has a team-high 38 carries, though 10 of those are sacks. Twenty-eight carries would rank second on the team.
The offensive line returns just two starters and has had protection issues.