Bits and Bytes: WVU - Louisville

Our last roundup of facts and factoids as the Mountaineers prepare to host Louisville

BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Sat 11/5/10 12:00 PM

Morgantown, WV

Mountaineer Field
Record: 6-2
BCS: 24
Last Game
Rutgers W 41-31
TV: Big East
Sirius/XM: 85/85
Web: BlueGoldNews.com
Record: 4-4
BCS: NR
Last Game
Syracuse W 27-10
Rosters/ Bios
Game Notes
Season Stats
2011 Schedule

Series: WVU 10-2
First Meeting: 1984
Last Meeting: 2010
Rosters/Bios
Game Notes
Season Stats
2011 Schedule

Click for Morgantown, West Virginia Forecast



TRIVIA

A year ago, the Mountaineers won a defense-dominated game at Louisville by the score of 17-9. Who was Louisville's leading rusher in that game?


HALF AND HALF

West Virginia fans are familiar with the Mountaineers' struggles in the first half of games this year, so they might be pleased to know that Louisville has had similar problems. The Cardinals have tallied 95 points in the first half, this year, but have scored only 46 in the second.

WVU, despite its first half issues, has actually scored just 25 more points in the second half than it has in the first. Its problems have come on defense, where it has yielded 130 first half points, as opposed to just 79 in the second half.


MISSED CHANCES

West Virginia has forced 46 opponent punts in 2011, but has managed to catch and return just 18 of them. Obviously, there are going to be some situations where a return isn't going to happen, but there's no doubt the Mountaineers have left some yardage on the field in this play phase. WVU is averaging 12.7 yards per return – a first down before it even gets the offense on the field. If the Mountaineers can get more returns, its going to set its offense up in even better position.


YOUTH IS TRULY SERVED

Every football coach points to the youth of his team at some point, and often that involves the high number of freshmen and sophomores on the team as opposed to juniors and seniors. The natural attrition that occurs over the course of players' careers is the major cause of that – in reality, almost every team has more players in their first two years than it does in the final two seasons. However, Louisville can truly claim the callow prize in 2011, as it not only has a big number of first year players, but is actually playing many of them.

The Cardinals rank 119th of 120 in returning experience in the nation. Louisville returned just 11 starters, which included seven on defense and four on offense. Louisville played 11 true freshmen in the first six contests, which is more than they played all of last season (10). The Cardinals have played 26 players who have made their first collegiate appearances through the first eight games.


THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Mostly useless but still interesting factoid of the week: WVU has never given up a defensive extra point conversion. The Mountaineers last scored a defensive conversion when Matt Taffoni picked off a Pitt two-point try and returned it for a score on Oct. 15, 1994.


QB-WR CONNECTIONS

Just like West Virginia's Miramar connection, which features quarterback Geno Smith and wide receivers Stedman Bailey and Ivan McCartney, Louisville has its own Florida link-up. QB Teddy Bridgewater and WRs Eli Rogers and Michaelee Harris all attended Miami's northwestern High School


ANSWER

Cardinal punter Chris Philpott, who had a 21-yard gain on a fake punt, was Louisville's leading ground gainer in the contest. Philpott returns this year as the Cardinal placekicker, but has yielded the punting duties to Josh Bleser.


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