ORLANDO, Fla. – West Virginia faces NC State in the Champs Sports Bowl to be played at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. This is West Virginia’s 30th bowl appearance and the third straight under coach Bill Stewart.
West Virginia and NC State have met two previous times in bowl games in the 1972 and 1975 Peach bowls, and nine times overall. The last two games of the series were played in 1978-79 when WVU Director of Athletics Oliver Luck was quarterbacking the Mountaineers.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. with ESPN televising the game nationally. MSN’s coverage (Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace, Jed Drenning and Hoppy Kercheval) begins with The Mountaineers Today at 5:30 p.m. Sirius Satellite radio users can access the MSN broadcast on channel 120 and channel 140 with the Best of XM.
Here is tonight’s Countdown to Kickoff:
10 – Senior Jock Sanders is TENTH in career touchdown catches with 14. Sanders is No. 1 in career receptions at West Virginia with 201 heading into tonight’s Champs Sports Bowl.
9 – West Virginia is making its NINTH straight bowl appearance dating back to the 2002 Continental Tire Bowl. That is tied with Southern Mississippi, Boise State and Wisconsin as the 11th longest active bowl streak in the country.
8 – Noel Devine ranks EIGHTH among active NCAA players in all-purpose yardage with 5,692. That represents the most all-purpose yards in school history.
7 – The Mountaineers have produced at least 400 yards of offense in SEVEN of their 12 regular season games this year. West Virginia is coming off a season-high 523-yard performance against Rutgers on Dec. 4.
6 – West Virginia has won at least nine games SIX years in a row, the Mountaineers joining Boise State, Ohio State and Virginia Tech as the only programs to accomplish that.
5 – Cornerback Keith Tandy is tied for FIFTH nationally in interceptions with six. That figure led the Big East this season.
4 – Devine has had FOUR runs of 30 yards or longer in 2010. For his career, the senior has 28 runs of 30 yards or longer.
3 – Today’s game represents the THIRD time West Virginia and NC State will meet in a bowl game. The Wolfpack blew out West Virginia 49-13 in the 1972 Peach Bowl and the Mountaineers outlasted State 13-10 in the 1975 Peach Bowl.
2 – Quarterback Geno Smith ranks SECOND in school history in single season touchdown passes (23), completions (219) and total offense (2,799).
1 – West Virginia’s defense ranked FIRST in the Big East and third nationally with 40 sacks. Seven different players have at least two sacks this year, led by junior Bruce Irvin’s 12 sacks.
Enjoy tonight’s game and be sure to stop back afterward for complete postgame coverage.