Unlike a lot of other WVU teams where the final game of the regular season still comes with another game after it, some of the seniors on this team will never play another down of football in their life once the clock strikes zeroes against the Cyclones.
"It would mean a lot to go out on a good note. Obviously the Kansas loss doesn't look good. We want to go out with a win," said senior linebacker Doug Rigg. "We don't want to lose to back-to-back teams at the bottom of the Big 12. We want to go out with a win. It will bring momentum going into the season next year."
Many of the seniors in this year's class have been through quite a bit during their time in Morgantown. They've been a part of a team that won the school's third BCS bowl win in record-setting fashion in the Discover Orange Bowl, the transition into the Big 12 Conference and a coaching change. In one of the most important and turbulent eras of Mountaineer football in some time, these seniors have been a big part in it, and have helped guide their teams through any tough times.
"It's tough because we're not going to a bowl game. These seniors have gone through changes from the Big East to the Big 12. We've made that transition," said senior linebacker and Morgantown, W.Va., native Tyler Anderson. "It's kind of hard to think about what you're going to be remembered as, since we're not having the greatest season.
"But we want to go out with a win this week."
And Saturday will give West Virginia its chance to do that again for its senior class.
It could be shades of last season's final home game when the Mountaineers, struggling to barely make it to a bowl game and in need of a good ending for the seniors who were playing their final game at Milan Puskar Stadium.
What came after West Virginia's 59-10 victory against Kansas was something that anyone would wish to experience in their last time in front of their home fans. Players went into the stands to sing "Country Roads" with the fans, they celebrated the way they had wanted to. They got the chance to go out as winners at home.
Now, with just hours remaining until the Mountaineers take the field against the Cyclones, this senior gets to have its chance to do the same thing.
They might not get to follow this with a bowl game, but they have a chance to go out as winners one last time and celebrate with the fans who have cared so much for them over the course of the last four or five years.
"Reality's setting in," said WVU defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. "You can see reality is staring them right in the face. This is it.
"This is the last time you're going to be able to run out on the field as a Mountaineer. A sense of urgency kicks in, and I think they see that this is the end."