Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 6, 2012

Prime-time shootout? Texas Longhorns await Mountaineers

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— Fans of the West Virginia University Mountaineers are in for another big treat tonight. And it is being billed as a prime-time shootout in the Lone Star State.

It’s a battle of two nationally ranked, undefeated Big 12 teams, on prime-time television. WVU Head Coach Dana Holgorsen will lead No. 8 West Virginia (4-0) into battle at the Royal-Memorial Stadium against the No. 11 ranked Texas Longhorns (4-0).

The Mountaineers, and Heisman Trophy front-runner Geno Smith, will be playing in a hostile environment. In fact, they will be greeted by more than 100,000 Texas fans. The big game is being telecast by the Fox network in prime time. And the stakes couldn’t be higher for WVU.

Coming off their thrilling 70-63 victory over the Baylor Bears last weekend, expectations are high for WVU. Perhaps too high. No team — not even WVU — can be expected to score 70 points everytime they play. But West Virginia has done it three times already. First against Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Then in their season opener against Marshall where the final scoreboard would have read 70 instead of 69 had it not been for a missed extra point, and then again last week during their Big 12 opener against Baylor.

Can we expect another shootout tonight? It’s possible. Both West Virginia and Texas are coming into the big game with high-flying offenses. WVU’s air-raid attack will be matched by a Texas team that is putting up big offensive numbers itself.

If both offenses are at the top of their game, it could be another thriller.

WVU fans are hoping to see Smith play another amazing game. If he does, and if West Virginia can knock off the Longhorns, it will move the Mountaineers one step closer toward their goal of a Big 12 championship, and their ultimate dream of a national championship. Considering the record-setting season the senior quarterback has had so far, we believe he is more than up for the challenge. Smith has thrown 20 touchdowns and no interceptions. He is playing at the top of his game, and is the leading candidate at the moment for the Heisman Trophy.

The WVU coaching staff should be ready for Texas. After all, Holgorsen already has experience playing against the Longhorns as an assistant coach both at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.

While it may be tough to watch and hear more than 100,000 Texas fans cheer against our beloved Mountaineers tonight, the team can take comfort in knowing that thousands will be cheering for them at home in the comfort of their living rooms. And while the road ahead won’t get much easier for the Mountaineers, who will be facing Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU and Kansas State in coming weeks, tonight’s showdown is still one of the biggest road game challenges faced by West Virginia.

We wish them the best of luck tonight in Texas. Let’s go Mountaineers!