Saturday's contest between West Virginia and Brigham Young will mark the first game that the two schools have played against each other, but the match-up could be an annual affair as BYU is among the favorites to join the Big 12 when the conference decides to expand. While BYU head coach Kalani Sitake shied away from the topic of expansion, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen says he believes the chance for BYU to make an impression on the league will add some extra motivation for the Cougars.
"It's no secret that they're trying to get into the Big 12," Holgorsen said. "Which is probably going to give them a little extra motivation to be able to play this game. So we better get ourselves ready to play and I know we will."
Coming off of a bye week the Mountaineers should be more than ready to play as they have had an extra week to heal and prepare for BYU. A large part of that preparation will revolve around scheming to move the ball against one of the better defenses that West Virginia will face in 2016. Holgorsen commented on the challenge that the experienced, physical and blitz-heavy unit poses.
"BYU is playing really good defense," Holgorsen stated. "They could easily be 3-0 based on the way they're playing. They're only giving up around 14 points a game against three high powered, high quality Pac 12 opponents that are used to scoring points. I can assure you we're not underestimating these guys whatsoever. They're going to be incredibly challenging to prepare for. They're always in the right spots, they play with great effort, they get to the ball and they're violent when they get there."
Saturdays game will also mark the first time that WVU has traveled away from Mountaineer field to play in 2016. The Mountaineers will make the 215 trip to Fedex Field in Landover, MD to play the Cougars, and Holgorsen said that playing these neutral site games is something he looks forward to and enjoys doing, stating that it presents an atmosphere similar to a bowl game and it is good for all of the Mountaineer fans who live in the greater DC area.
"These neutral site games are always important for us," Holgorsen said. "They're important for our fan base. We have played them before and we will continue to play them again. I'm a big fan of (neutral site games) and I know our fan base is as well."
During his press conference Holgorsen also made note that Skyler Howard took the bye week off and is now virtually 100 percent and ready to go after taking a shot to the ribs against Missouri in the season's opening game.