The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

September 26, 2012

WVU 12 1/2-point favorite in its first-ever Big 12 game

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia has been installed as a 12 1/2-point favorite against Baylor here Saturday in its first-ever Big 12 football game.

But head coach Dana Holgorsen said the ninth-ranked Mountaineers (3-0) certainly aren’t taking the Bears lightly.

“They have people that are capable of making a whole lot of plays,” he stated. “Baylor (3-0) is very good.”

The Bears defeated Southern Methodist 59-24, Sam Houston State 48-23 and Louisiana Monroe 47-42.

Asked how important defense is, Holgorsen replied, “Defense is always important against who you play. Every team poses different challenges.

“We need to worry about us and try to get a little bit better. We have 20 hours to work in preparation for this game.”

Holgorsen readily admitted that this game is very important because of its significance to the Big 12, the WVU program and its fans.

“There is a lot of excitement about playing (this first game) in the Big 12,” Holgorsen commented. “There’s a lot of anticipation in the state of West Virginia.

“Across the country, this game should be also significant because it’s West Virginia’s first as a new member of the Big 12.

“So there will be a lot of eyes on us.”

WVU’s second-year head coach has had personal experience as an assistant on Big 12 coaching staffs.

He noted that Art Briles, a Texas Tech alumnus, has established a strong program as the head coach at Baylor in Waco, Tex.

As a result, Holgorsen doesn’t think the Mountaineers will be distracted in preparing for Saturday’s noon kickoff.

Most of the WVU assistant coaches also are familiar with Big 12 teams’ schemes in all three phases of a game.

Briles, whose four-year record at Baylor is 25-25, guided the Bears to a 10-3 record and the Alamo Bowl championship last season. They were 6-3 in the conference.

Fifty-four lettermen returned, including 16 starters.

“My coaching career has progressed to this point,” Briles said. “I feel like I’m starting to grow in my career.”

He said you never know what to expect when you take a team on the road for a game.

“I think West Virginia has been a dominant program over the past decade or so,” Briles added. He praised WVU quarterback Geno Smith.

“He has been phenomenal. He’s really played very strong in the past couple years. He’s a great football player, and he seems in control with what’s going on.”

Text Only
College Sports
  • Herd lands ‘Other D’Antoni’

    Danny D’Antoni hasn’t been a West Virginia resident in nearly 40 years. That will soon change, and his family could not be happier.
    D’Antoni will be introduced as Marshall’s new head men’s basketball coach at a press conference at 2 p.m. today. Athletic director Mike Hamrick announced the hiring via Twitter Thursday afternoon.

    April 24, 2014

  • WVU baseball begins series with Kansas State in Morgantown today

    The West Virginia University baseball team will host Kansas State in a key Big 12 Conference series this weekend at Hawley Field. Game one begins at 6 p.m. today. Game two begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday, and the first pitch for game three is set for noon on Sunday.

    April 24, 2014

  • Hamrick deserves praise for pursuit of D’Antoni

    Sometimes gambles don’t pay off, but some risks simply have to be taken.

    April 23, 2014

  • WVU post-spring depth chart filled with few surprises

    Although the contents brought about as much of a surprise as a over the hill balloon at a 40th birthday party, there were a few interesting nuggets in the post-spring depth chart that West Virginia University sent out Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • Clutch hitting leads WVU over Marshall

    Junior catcher Cam O’Brien finished  a home run away from the cycle and scored three runs as the WVU baseball team defeated Marshall, 10-3, on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • Gardner improving with broken neck

    Joedy Gardner, a well-known former West Virginia basketball player and coach, is much improved after having broken his neck in Phoenix, Ariz., several months ago.

    April 23, 2014

  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like and stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014