These Mountaineers had yet to see it this season.
"That's what teams are going to do to us," Smith said. "But that's a sign of a good offense. If you come out and run the same offense you did last week against us, we're going to find matchups and exploit things. Maryland did a good job mixing up coverages and trying to rattle our domes."
WVU's offense had four three-and-out series after just one the first two games.
The timing matters, too, because the Mountaineers play their first Big 12 Conference game Saturday at home against Baylor, which moved to 3-0 with Friday's road win against Louisiana-Monroe. The noon game will be televised by FX.
"I would guess it's probably going to be like that against Baylor," Dawson said. "They'll have a long week to prepare and they're probably going to throw in some wrinkles."
Maryland's plan was enabled by WVU's lack of a running game. The Mountaineers played virtually the entire game without starting running back Shawne Alston (thigh bruise) and finished with 25 yards on 25 carries. They entered the game second nationally with 7.4 yards per carry.
The Terrapins controlled the line of scrimmage, sometimes without much help from linebackers or defensive backs. In addition, they could guess with a blitz against the pass because the Mountaineers didn't run well or often. WVU had its lowest rushing total since a loss to Syracuse in 1996.
"Their defensive line played aggressive and they blitzed a lot," Smith said. "They forced us to pass the ball, but at the same time they mixed up their coverage and threw off our mechanics. That's something we need to figure out, but I know all the offensive staff is going to get in the film room and come up with a plan to counter that."
WVU's running game affected the passing game and the offense didn't pass on a third down until the fourth quarter - which was the last of 15 third downs the Mountaineers faced in the game. WVU was 7-for-15, but it wasn't so simple. The average yardage needed for a first down was 9.5 yards and only once did WVU have a third down that needed fewer than 4 yards.
That put more on Smith, which encouraged more from the Maryland blitz. Smith completed 8-of-13 passes on third down for six first downs. He was sacked once, which led to a field goal in the red zone, but he also threw a key touchdown late. Smith spotted a busted coverage in the secondary on third-and-15 and completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin against pressure.
The pass protection held and WVU had one of its few wins against the blitz.
"Our definition of balance is not necessarily 50-50, but we need to be good at both, or at least be effective at both," Dawson said. "We weren't effective in the run game, but you've got to give credit to them for doing good stuff up front, but we didn't take advantage of it on the back end.
"The thing about it is both those deals play off each other. If we're struggling in the run game because they're loading the box and doing stuff to us up front to give us problems, we need to expose them in the passing game and we didn't' do that nearly enough."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.