WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS
Norfolk State Spartans
Milan Puskar Stadium (60,000/FieldTurf)
BIG EAST Network/ESPN3.com
— Rob King and John Thornton
West Virginia Radio
WAJR-AM 1440 (flagship)
West Virginia and Norfolk State meet on the gridiron for the first time Saturday … Norfolk State head coach Pete Adrian is a 1970 graduate of West Virginia and a former WVU assistant coach … Saturday’s game will be the second straight for West Virginia against a head coach who is an alumnus of the school (Marshall coach Doc Holliday is a 1979 graduate) … Norfolk State plays a BIG EAST member for the second straight year — the Spartans fell 31-0 at Rutgers last season.
19/24 WEST VIRGINIA (1-0)
Dana Holgorsen (Iowa Wesleyan ’93)
1-0, first season
Any head coach should remember his first career win, but West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen will undoubtedly have the memories from his debut for a lifetime … Holgorsen’s first victory against Marshall came at home, against an in-state rival and was twice interrupted by lightning in the Morgantown area before the game was called with 14:36 left in the fourth quarter and West Virginia holding a 34-13 lead … The Mountaineers trailed 7-3 after the first quarter, but built a 20-10 lead at halftime … West Virginia had four scoring drives of 10 or more plays … QB Geno Smith had impressive numbers in the abbreviated game, finishing with 249 yards and two touchdowns on 26-of-35 passing … WR Stedman Bailey had five receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown, while WR Ivan McCartney had five catches for 31yards and a TD … RB Andrew Buie started the game and rushed for 30 yards, but yielded to RB Vernard Roberts after leaving with an injury … WR Tavon Austin had 190 all-purpose yards, including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that effectively put the game out of reach … LB Najee Goode had a team-high seven sacks, while DE Bruce Irvin, who had a BIG EAST-leading 14 sacks a year ago, had one sack against Marshall … K Tyler Bitancurt made both of his field goal attempts, while P Corey Smith averaged 50.0 yards on a pair of kicks.
NORFOLK STATE (1-0)
Pete Adrian (West Virginia ’70)
35-33, seventh season at Norfolk State
71-70-1, 14th season as collegiate head coach
Norfolk State began the 2011 season in impressive fashion as the Spartans cruised to a 37-3 win against Virginia State in the Virginia Lottery Labor Day Classic in Norfolk … The Spartans scored on their first three possessions, punted just once and didn’t commit a turnover … QB Chris Walley completed 25 of 29 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opener … Norfolk State ranked sixth among FCS schools in total defense last year (284.1 ypg) and showed little rust this year, holding Virginia State to 161 yards of offense … CB Ricardo Volcin had the defensive highlight in the opener with a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown … LB Corwin Hammond had a team-high nine tackles with two tackles for loss … The game at West Virginia is the first in a streak of three straight road dates for Norfolk State, which faces Howard Sept. 17.