The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 30, 2011

Mountaineers arrive in Miami

By Dave Morrison
Register-Herald Sports Writer

BECKLEY — It didn’t take long for West Virginia linebacker Najee Good to adapt to the Miami, Florida surroundings.

Goode, and the Mountaineers, arrived in Miami Thursday to begin preparation for Wednesday’s Orange Bowl matchup with Clemson at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

The game will kickoff at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

“The weather is beautiful,” Goode said. “It’s not too hot, not too cold. It beats West Virginia and Cleveland weather by far. I might have to move down here after the game.”

Of course, , he had been told what to expect by his teammates from Miami, guys like Eain Smith. Of course, that makes the game paramount for the Miami natives on the roster, which includes quarterback Geno Smith and receivers Stedman Bailey and Ivan McCartney.

“They talk about it all the time,” Goode said. “Eain Smith always tells me, even when I dropped him off at the airport for break, ‘We can’t lose this game.’ So I told him we aren’t going to lose it. Hands down we aren’t going to lose this, because he can’t come back home for the rest of his life and hear that we lost a BCS game in the Orange Bowl.”

For coach Dana Holgorsen, it’s all about getting prepared to play and also enjoy the festivities.

“It’s exciting to be here,” Holgorsen said. “Obviously, the team has had a couple of days off. We got a lot of work done in Morgantown and then we gave them a few days off for Christmas and showed up today. It’s pretty festive, it’s pretty exciting and we look forward to going to the Fontainebleau (hotel) to get settled in and enjoy a week’s worth of festivities but also understand that we are down here to win a football game.”

West Virginia had 10 of its 15 practices in Morgantown before the Christmas break.

— E-mail: demorrison@