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
  • Miners stop Lorain County 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners received a strong outing from starting pitcher Patrick LaGanke, and scored one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Lorain County Ironmen 5-1 Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Some topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers

    July 25, 2014

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU's Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU to kickoff 2018 season against Tennessee in Charlotte

    The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced Tuesday morning that it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University.

    July 22, 2014

  • Can summit of bigwigs really solve college athletics issues?

    I see where the Big 12 Conference is going to host in New York City what will be titled “A State of College Athletics Forum.”

    July 22, 2014

Saints Training Camp