The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

September 14, 2012

Playing at FedEx Stadium a unique experience for WVU

Playing in NFL stadiums is nothing new for the West Virginia University football team. In the Big East, in fact, it was the norm.

The Mountaineers showed up in professional stadiums three times last year — taking on Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium, the home of the Bengals, South Florida at Raymond James Stadium, the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Clemson in the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins — and the seniors on this year’s WVU squad have visited Heinz Field (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Jacksonville Municipal Stadium (Jacksonville Jaguars) during their careers.

Still, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said it will be something special to take the field at FedEx Stadium on Saturday, when the Mountaineers take on James Madison at the home of the Washington Redskins.

“It’s nice for our guys to play in the pro stadiums,” said the second-year WVU coach. “I wouldn’t want my home stadium to be a pro stadium. We did it (three times) last year, but it seemed like our guys got juiced up for that. Next year, we play in the Ravens’ stadium (against Maryland). Family and friends get excited for that, too. Recruits and players do, too.”

WVU also has a number of true freshmen who will be seeing playing time Saturday and other redshirt-freshmen who didn’t make the trips to Cincinnati and USF last year. For them, playing in a pro stadium will be a unique experience.

“I’ve never been to the Redskins’ stadium before,” said slot receiver Jordan Thompson, who was a high school senior in Katy, Texas, at this time last year. “I played in the Houston Texans’ stadium my freshman year of high school. Because it’s a different place, I’m definitely excited.”

While Thompson will probably take time to soak in the atmosphere, running back Andrew Buie said he won’t even notice the surroundings.

“The environment doesn’t really matter to me at all,” said the sophomore from Jacksonville, Fla. “We could play out in the practice field, and it would be the same.”

Perhaps more important than experiencing a Redskins game day environment will be hitting the road for the first time in 2012. Although it won’t necessarily be a hostile crowd greeting the Mountaineers — there are sure to be more fans pairing blue with their gold than purple on Saturday — they will get the experience of traveling as a team.

“It’s important getting your first game away from home,” said Thompson. “We get a little taste of what it’s like on the road. You’re not always going to be at home. Playing in a different environment is important.”

Kickoff for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

— E-mail: chuffman@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • 072314 brand Bradshaw or the field?

    If a betting window were set up on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs for the 81st West Virginia Open Championship, which begins at 8 a.m. this morning, the most popular wager would probably be David Bradshaw against the field.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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 justice Home sweet home away from home

    When Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was handed a copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Sunday, his eyes lit up like a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on a cold December night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • 072314 Legion.jpg Post 32 rips Parkersburg 19-3 in American Legion tournament

    The double play in baseball is said to be a pitcher’s best friend. If that is the case, an 11-run inning by the offense is a very close second.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 Gaddis.jpg Former Mountaineer standout Gaddis making career in MLS

    Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis may consider Indianapolis his hometown, but make no mistake about it, the Mountain State will always have a place in his heart.

    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

Saints Training Camp