Countdown to Kickoff

  • By John Antonik
  • |
  • September 10, 2011 10:23 AM
  • |
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – No. 19 West Virginia faces Norfolk State in an afternoon non-conference tilt at Milan Puskar Stadium. Both teams bring 1-0 records into today’s game, West Virginia knocking off Marshall 34-14 in the Friends of Coal Bowl and Norfolk State downing Virginia State 37-3 in the Virginia Lottery Labor Day Classic last weekend.

The Spartans are coached by West Virginia alumnus Pete Adrian. Mark Thurston, a defensive end for the Mountaineers under Hall of Fame coach Don Nehlen, is also a member of the Norfolk State coaching staff.

Today’s game will be televised by the Big East Network locally on ROOT SPORTS, with Rob King and former Mountaineer John Thornton on the call. The Mountaineer Sports Network (Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace, Jed Drenning and Hoppy Kercheval) will handle the radio call statewide and nationally on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 93.

It is also Varsity Club Weekend with former Mountaineer student-athletes, coaches and administrators on campus to reconnect with their alma mater.

Here is today’s Countdown to Kickoff:

10 – The Mountaineers have the TENTH best record in college football since 2005 at 61-17.

9 – West Virginia had NINE first-time starters last Sunday against Marshall in the season opener: Andrew Buie, Will Clarke, Darwin Cook, Pat Eger, Bruce Irvin, Ryan Nehlen, Tyler Rader, Doug Rigg and Casey Vance.

8 – EIGHT Mountaineer players have more than 33 games worth of playing experience heading into today’s game, including seniors Don Barclay, Najee Goode and Julian Miller with a team-high 40.

7 – Tavon Austin’s 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Marshall was West Virginia’s SEVENTH special teams and/or defensive touchdown since 2007. Austin now has two of them.

6 – Cornerback Pat Miller produced SIX tackles last Sunday against Marshall. He finished second behind linebacker Najee Goode’s team-best seven stops.

5 – Sophomore Stedman Bailey matched his career high with FIVE receptions last Sunday against Marshall for a team-best 76 yards.

4 – FOUR true freshmen saw action in West Virginia’s season opener against Marshall: Andrew Buie, Dustin Garrison, Vernard Roberts and Shaq Petteway.

3 – The Mountaineer offense had THREE consecutive scoring drives of 10 plays or more in the first half of the Marshall game and four overall. In 2010, the West Virginia offense had only 14 scoring drives of 10 plays or more.

2 – Junior Tyler Bitancurt was TWO-for-TWO on field goal attempts last Sunday against Marshall, converting field goals of 27 and 43 yards.

1 – Norfolk State is looking for its FIRST touchdown against an FBS opponent. The Spartans have been outscored 128-3 in their previous three meetings against FBS teams Rutgers (twice) and Kentucky.

Enjoy today’s game and be sure to stop back afterward for complete postgame coverage.


West Virginia University Mountaineers, WVU, NCAA college football, Norfolk State

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