West Virginia Overview

The first installment of "West Virginia Week" introduces the 2003 Mountaineers, with a look back at last year's game and an overview of what they have coming back.

How they fared: (9-4 overall, 6-1 Big East, second place)

2002 Results:

West Virginia 56, UT-Chattanooga 7
Wisconsin 34, West Virginia 17
West Virginia 35, Cincinnati 32
West Virginia 37, East Carolina 17
Maryland 48, West Virginia 17
West Virginia 40, Rutgers 0
West Virginia 34, Syracuse 7
Miami 40, West Virginia 23
West Virginia 46, Temple 20
West Virginia 24, Boston College 14
West Virginia 21, Virginia Tech 18
West Virginia 24, Pittsburgh 17
Virginia 48, West Virginia 22

2003 Schedule:

Aug 30. v. Wisconsin
Sept. 6 at East Carolina
Sept. 13 v. Cincinnati
Sept. 20 at Maryland
Oct. 2 at Miami
Oct. 11 v. Rutgers
Oct. 22 v. Virginia Tech
Nov. 1 v. Central Florida
Nov. 8 at Boston College
Nov. 15 v. Pittsburgh
Nov. 22 at Syracuse
Nov. 29 v. Temple

Starters Returning:
5 offense, 4 defense, 1 kicker

Coach Rich Rodriguez: In his third season at West Virginia (12-12) and 10th season as a head coach (Salem, Glanville State, West Virginia) Rodriguez carries a 57-48-2 record.

Versus UW: The Mountaineers are 0-3 lifetime against the Badgers, including last season's 34-17 loss at Camp Randall. This will be the teams' first meeting away from Madison. Other Wisconsin victories took place in 1933 and 1957.

Last season, Wisconsin lit up the Mountaineers for 27 points in the second quarter en route to a 34-17 victory. Despite missing injured receivers Lee Evans and Darrin Charles, quarterback Brooks Bollinger completed 14 of 20 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns, both to freshman Jonathan Orr. Another freshman, Brandon Williams, broke out with six receptions for 125 yards.

Badger Nation coverage from 2002 gameday:

Brandon Breaks Through

Badger Nation Stars of the Game

West Virginia Game Notes

Alvarez Verbatim

USA Today Game Story and Box:

Wisconsin vs. West Virginia Box Score

UWBadgers.com Game Recap:

UWBadgers.com Report

Mountaineers 2002 in brief: West Virginia rebounded from a 3-8 season in 2001 to go 9-4 last season, including a 4-3 mark against Bowl teams. The improvement marked the best overall turnaround since the Big East's inception in 1993. The Mountaineers finished the regular season strong, winning four straight including games at Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh to secure a second place conference finish after staring the season just 5-3. West Virginia's running game set conference records for yards (3,687), average per game (283.6), carries (714). The team also set a Big East single-game record with 536 yards against East Carolina. Senior Avon Cobourne set the Big East career rushing record, finishing his tenure at West Virginia with 5,164 yards.

Looking Ahead to 2003:

West Virginia plays an almost identical slate of opponents in 2003—supplanting UT-Chattanooga with Central Florida, giving the Mountaineers eight opponents who played in 2002 Bowl games. With only 10 starters returning, West Virginia will be hard pressed to duplicate last season's success. But led by quarterback Rasheed Marshall and all-Big East linebacker Grant Wiley, the Mountaineers will still present a formidable opponent for Wisconsin.

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