ATLANTA - West Virginia faces second-ranked Alabama in the 2014 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game Saturday in the Georgia Dome
Saturday’s game is the first ever meeting between West Virginia and Alabama. The contest will be televised nationally on ABC/ESPN2 (Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Tom Luginbill). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
Here is Saturday’s Countdown to Kickoff, presented by Friends of Coal:
10 – Fifteen of West Virginia’s 20 300-yard passing games over the last TEN years have taken place under Coach Dana Holgorsen.
9 – The Mountaineers have only lost NINE times since 2002 when they have won the turnover battle. West Virginia’s record during that span of games when being on the plus side in turnovers is 69-9.
8 – West Virginia has registered EIGHT special teams/defensive touchdowns since 2012. Last year, the Mountaineers scored four times that way – twice on fumble returns and twice on pick sixes.
7 – SEVEN wide receivers on this year’s team return with game experience.
6 – Saturday’s game will be the SIXTH appearance in Atlanta for Mountaineer football. The last time West Virginia took a football team to the Dogwood City was in 2006 when WVU upset SEC champion Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, played in Atlanta that year because of damage to the New Orleans Superdome as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
5 – Alabama has had more draft picks over the last FIVE years than any other school in the country with 37. By comparison, West Virginia has had 13 players drafted during that same period of time.
4 – Saturday’s game will represent just the FOURTH time in school history that West Virginia has opened the season with a Top 5-ranked team. In 1998, WVU lifted the lid on the season at home against No. 1-ranked Ohio State, in 1994, WVU took on Nebraska in Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.Y., and in 1938 West Virginia opened the season with top-ranked Pitt.
3 – Alabama is one of THREE non-conference opponents West Virginia will face this year. The other two are Towson next weekend in Morgantown and Maryland on Sept. 13 in College Park.
2 – Alabama is one of TWO programs during the recent era of college football to win back-to-back national championships in 2011 and 2012. Nebraska claimed back-to-back titles in 1994-95. Ironically, in 1994 West Virginia kicked off Nebraska’s two-year reign as college football’s top grid program.
1 – Saturday’s game will be the FIRST-ever meeting between West Virginia and Alabama on the gridiron. The Mountaineers have played 49 total games against SEC teams, the last one coming three years ago when WVU played host to second-ranked LSU on Sept. 24, 2011.
The Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG’s coverage begins three hours before kickoff with The Mountaineer Tailgate Show and continues with live game coverage on affiliates throughout West Virginia and on multiple platforms online, including TuneIn, leanStream and through the new WVU Gameday app available for download through iTunes and Google Play.
Enjoy Saturday’s game and be sure to stop back afterward for complete postgame coverage.