Bits and Bytes - MU

Final thoughts and musings before the kickoff to the 2006 West Virginia football season.


West Virginia has played five in-state opponents in football. Without looking in a media guide, can you name the four teams other than Marshall? Bonus question – who are the only two teams that own wins over the Mountaineers? (Hint: MU isn't one of them.) Answer at the end of this column.


West Virginia has outscored MU 252-52 in the five meetings to date. Not surprisingly, WVU has won all five of the meetings.


WVU's 92-6 beatdown of the Herd in 1915 has been pumped by MU as an "historic" game. In that contest, MU avoided a shutout by putting a receiver on the shoulders of a teammate and throwing a pass to him for the Herd's only score.
Game Info
WVU 0-0, 0-0
MU 0-0, 0-0
Sat 9-2-06 3:30 pm
Milan Puskar Stadium
Series: 5-0-0 WVU
TV:ESPN Regional
Sagarin: WVU-18 MU-79
Line: WVU -21
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That play, which was legal at the time, has been rehashed by Marshall supporters ad nauseum as another example of the Herd's "putting one over" on the Mountaineers. MU supporters apparently made a good bit of money by betting that Marshall would score in the game, and were obviously more interested in winning a bet than actually fielding a respectable team. More than 90 years later, some still highlight that play while ignoring the fact that the Herd lost the game by 86 points.

The same sort of thinking was also in evidence in recent years when those fans (perhaps descendants of the 1915 gamblers) proudly crowed about holding a lead in the fourth quarter of the 1997 game.


The fact that WVU is 88-18-6 all-time in its home openers probably falls under the latter category. Without an analysis of the opponents, including their records, there's not a lot that can be drawn from that bit of information. The suppositions, of course, is that the opposition probably wouldn't rank, in most years at least, among the stronger teams WVU faced in that particular year.
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What is a bit more revealing, however, is the fact that West Virginia is 26-4 in its last 30 games. Sure, the 2006 team is different from the 2005 and 2004 editions, and we don't know how this year's campaign will play out. As every financial services commercial says, 'Past success does not predict future performance.' However, with a number of key returnees from the teams that helped compile that record, WVU does seem positioned to make the left side number a larger one.

And finally, in the "totally useless but still interesting" category, West Virginia has never lost a home opener following a bowl win.


West Virginia has six different kickoff times set for its 12 regular season games this year. That number could increase, as neither the East Carolina nor Rutgers games have been officially set. ECU's official website, which once listed the WVU game at 2:30 p.m., now shows "To Be Announced" in the game time column.


Remember when Marshall and its sycophants used to crow about having more West Virginians on the roster than WVU, and maintained that they would always hold the edge in that department? A brief look at the latest rosters shows 22 Mountain State players on each roster. Wonder why that fact isn't trumpeted now?


WVU has player Bethany, Davis and Elkins, Morris Harvey (now the University of Charleston) and West Virginia Wesleyan. D&E (two wins) and Wesleyan (four wins) own victories over West Virginia. The Mountaineers' all-time record against instate foes is 56-6-3.

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