Countdown to Kickoff

  • By John Antonik
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  • September 01, 2012 02:00 AM
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West Virginia takes on Marshall in the 2012 Friends of Coal Bowl on Saturday at noon at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown.

Saturday’s game marks the 12th meeting between these two schools, with West Virginia winning the prior 11, including last year’s 33-14 victory in Morgantown that was called in the third quarter because of inclement weather. It is the seventh straight year the two schools have played the Friends of Coal Bowl, and will be the ninth time game will be played in Morgantown.

Former Mountaineer player and assistant coach John “Doc” Holliday makes his return to Morgantown after leading Marshall to a bowl game victory last year and sports a 12-13 overall record.

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen enters his second season guiding the Mountaineer program after producing a 10-3 record in 2011 and a victory over Clemson in the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl.

There are plenty of things happening before and during the game. The team will take part in the Mountaineer Mantrip, a tribute to the state’s coal industry, approximately two hours before kickoff, and this year’s walk will be accompanied by an air raid siren to let everyone know when the team is making its way into the stadium.

Also, West Virginia will show a video tribute to late Mountaineer football coaches Bill Stewart and Jim Carlen, who both died earlier this year. Those tributes will take place at 11:35 a.m. on the stadium video board.

Plus, West Virginia University is planning a special in-game tribute to the two West Virginia state troopers Marshall Bailey and Eric Workman, who tragically lost their lives in the line of duty earlier this week in Clay Country.

A limited number of tickets for Saturday’s game will be available at the Milan Puskar Stadium ticket office beginning at 10 a.m.

Here is Saturday’s Countdown to Kickoff:

10 – West Virginia has averaged TEN wins per year over the last seven years, winning 70 games.

9 – Saturday’s game will be the NINTH time West Virginia has faced Marshall in Morgantown.

8 – Junior Stedman Bailey is current EIGHTH on West Virginia’s career list in touchdown receptions with 16. Bailey had 12 touchdown catches last year as a sophomore.

7 – Marshall was flagged SEVEN times for 35 yards in last year’s weather-shortened game in Morgantown.

6 – Last year, West Virginia ranked SIXTH in the country in passing offense averaging 346.8 yards per game.

5 – West Virginia won FIVE of its seven games at Milan Puskar Stadium last year. One of those two losses was to a non-conference opponent: second-ranked LSU.

4 – Marshall has the FOURTH-fewest seniors among FBS schools with only nine entering this season.

3 – Marshall enters Saturday’s game riding a THREE-game winning streak, including coming off a Beef O’ Brady Bowl victory over Florida International.

2 – West Virginia’s last TWO home openers resulted in a combined 65 points in wins against Coastal Carolina in 2010 and Marshall in 2011.

1 – Geno Smith’s 4,385 yards passing last year ranked FIRST on West Virginia’s single-season passing chart. Smith also set the school record for total offense with 4,352 yards.

MSN radio’s coverage (Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace, Jed Drenning and Hoppy Kercheval) begins with The Mountaineers Today at 11 am and continues after the game with the postgame show. You can catch the broadcast on stations throughout West Virginia and also on satellite radio at SiriusXM channel 91.

FX (Justin Kutcher, Eric Crouch and Darius Walker) will televise the game nationally.

Enjoy Saturday’s game and be sure to stop back afterward for complete post-game coverage.


West Virginia University Mountaineers, WVU, Marshall Thundering Herd, Friends of Coal Bowl