The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

September 29, 2011

Mountaineers reshuffle cast

MORGANTOWN — There will be a few changes in West Virginia’s starting lineup for its homecoming clash with Bowling Green on Saturday.

But coach Dana Holgorsen said the 22nd-ranked Mountaineers’ schemes are fine and that it will be just a matter of execution. WVU (3-1) is a heavy favorite against the Falcons (3-1). Kickoff time is 3:30 p.m., and the contest will be televised on the Big East network.

The weather won’t be as pleasant as it was last Saturday for the LSU game. The forecast calls for a windy, chilly afternoon with a high temperature in the low 50s.

West Virginia is poised to bounce back from last Saturday’s 47-21 beating by LSU — now ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll.

Bowling Green, whose lone loss was by just one point to Wyoming (28-27), is coming off last week’s 37-23 victory at Miami of Ohio.

The Falcons’ other wins were over Idaho, 32-15, and Morgan State, 58-13.

BGSU has a comparatively young team. But it already has won more games than all of last season when it finished a disastrous 2-10.

“They do things on offense that are pretty good,” Holgorsen said. “They have some guys with experience that could give us trouble.”

He noted that the Falcons have outstanding wide receivers as a chief strength and that the defense isn’t as experienced as the offense.

“We’ll make sure our guys know what Bowling Green’s schemes are and how to attack them,” WVU’s first-year head coach continued. “We’ll have our guys ready to play.

“From week to week, we’ve told our guys to get over the game they just played (win or lose). I’m confident they have done that.”

Holgorsen said he doesn’t think it really matters whether the Mountaineers had played well or not.

West Virginia leads the all-time series with Bowling Green 2-0. The scores were 68-14 in 1988 and 24-17 in 1991.

This should be an interesting offensive duel between two of the nation’s outstanding quarterbacks.

While junior Geno Smith of WVU leads the Big East Conference in passing and total offense, BGSU sophomore Matt Schilz ranks 15th in the nation in passing yards per game (292.25) and first in touchdown passes (14).

Geno Smith also leads the Big East in passing yards per game (367.8). He completed 120 of 183 for 1,471 yards and nine touchdowns. His total offense is 368.2 ypg.

West Virginia opens the Big East portion of its schedule next Saturday in a home game against Connecticut.

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