WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (56,000/Field Turf)
BIG EAST Network Game of the Week
Mike Gleason, John Congemi and Eamon McAnaney
West Virginia Radio
Mountaineer Sports Network
Sirius 121; XM 141
WHAS-AM 840 (flagship)
Saturday’s game will be the 12th meeting between West Virginia and Louisville in a series that dates to 1984 … West Virginia holds a 9-2 series lead and has won the last three against the Cardinals … The schools produced a triple-overtime thriller in 2005, when West Virginia took a 46-44 win in Morgantown … Last year’s meeting saw the Mountaineers keep the Cardinals out of the end zone as West Virginia took a 17-9 win at Milan Puskar Stadium.
WEST VIRGINIA (6-3, 2-2 BIG EAST)
Bill Stewart (Fairmont State ’75)
24-11, third season at West Virginia
32-36, sixth year as collegiate head coach
West Virginia snapped a two-game slide with a 37-10 win against Cincinnati … The Mountaineers raced to a 30-0 first-half lead against the Bearcats … West Virginia remains the only team in the nation that has not allowed more than 21 points in a game this season … The Mountaineers rank second nationally in scoring defense (13.2 ppg) and fourth in total defense (253.3 ypg) while leading the BIG EAST in both categories … West Virginia also ranks fourth nationally in sacks (3.1 per game) … RB Noel Devine, who has been slowed by nagging injuries, has rushed for 770 yards and five touchdowns … QB Geno Smith has thrown for 1,870 yards and 19 touchdowns with six interceptions after throwing four first-half TDs against Cincinnati … WR Jock Sanders is second in the BIG EAST in receptions (5.8 per game), while WR Tavon Austin is fourth (4.9 per game) … CB Keith Tandy is tied for the BIG EAST lead with five interceptions … DE Bruce Irvin has registered eight sacks, while DE Julian Miller has four … S Terence Garvin has a team-high 57 tackles … Saturday’s game is the first of back-to-back road games as the Mountaineers visit Pittsburgh next week.
LOUISVILLE (5-5, 2-3 BIG EAST)
Charlie Strong (Central Arkansas ’82)
5-5, first season
Louisville remains one win away from bowl eligibility following a 24-21 overtime loss to USF last week … The Cardinals are 3-3 at home this season … Louisville ranks second in the BIG EAST in total offense (391.1 yards per game) and is the top rushing team in the conference (192.2 ypg) … RB Bilal Powell, who enters Saturday’s game as the nation’s fifth-leading rusher at 134.1 yards per game, has rushed for 1,176 yards and nine touchdowns … QB Justin Burke has started the last two games in place of injured QB Adam Froman … Burke has thrown six touchdown passes with two interceptions in five games this season … WR Doug Beaumont leads a group of three players with at least 300 receiving yards … WR Josh Bellamy has five touchdown receptions to lead the Cardinals … SS Hakeem Smith has a team-high 69 tackles … LB Daniel Brown has four sacks and a team-leading 11 tackles for loss … DT Rodney Gnat is fourth in the BIG EAST with seven sacks …CB Johnny Patrick has a team-high three interceptions.