Matchup: (16) West Virginia vs (2) LSU
When: Saturday, 8pm, ABC
Line: LSU -5.5
WVU Players to Watch:
Geno Smith, QB: 1,008 yards, 7 TD, 1 INT
Tavon Austin, WR: 20 rec, 236 yards, 1 TD, 1 return TD
Ivan McCartney, WR: 17 rec, 211, 2 TD
Darwin Cook, S: 22 Total tackles, 1 INT
LSU Players to Watch:
Spencer Ware, RB: 226 yards, 3 TD
Mike Ford, RB: 218 yards, 4 TD
Tyrann Mathieu, CB: 24 tackles, 3 TFL, .5 sacks, 3 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR
Bennie Logan, DT: 12 tackles, 3.5 tfl, .5 sacks,
Distractions, Distractions, Distractions. Some are good, some are pretty damn awful. The good? ESPN will be on campus this weekend for "Gameday", so the college football world will have its eyes on Morgantown. The bad? Trying to figure out what the future of WVU will be. The conference shuffle took another wild turn this week, when the Big East was essentially declared dead with Syracuse and Pitt leaving, and Rutgers, UConn, Villanova, and WVU looking elsewhere. How will the players deal with all of this? Good question. I guess we will find out at 8pm on Saturday.
So, how good is this WVU team? This should be the best test. LSU is defensively legit, and the offense has been efficient. However, it's not a very scary offense. The young WVU defense will have to play better, but should be able to keep the Mountaineers in the game. This will be on Geno Smith and the offense to find a way to break the tight defense. I imagine that Holgorsen has a few tricks in the playbook we haven't seen yet.
The Fans will be in the spotlight Saturday night. The game will be televised on ABC, so hide your "West F***ing Virginia" shirts! The game is sold out, fans will have a whole day to get primed up, and should be nice and rowdy by kickoff. LSU hasn't played a lot of non-conference night road games over the years, so we'll see how the Tigers react to what should be a wild crowd.
Will a decision of the future of the program be made by the end of the week? It's doubtful, but you never know. Who would have had Pitt and Syracuse in the ACC this quickly? The uncertainty is very scary, but most believe Oliver Luck is the right man to have running the athletic department at this time of need. I'm sure a win over LSU will help whatever cause he is fighting at this time.