When: Saturday, 12:00p, Big East Network
Line: WVU -13
West Virginia Players to Watch:
Geno Smith, QB: 2715 yards, 20 TD, 5 INT
Dustin Garrison, RB: 517 rush yards, 141 pass yards, 5 TD
Tavon Austin: 56 rec, 1239 all purpose yards, 5 total TD
Stedman Bailey, WR: 43 rec, 815 yards, 7 TD
Louisville Players to Watch:
Teddy Bridgewater, QB: 1029 yards, 7 TD, 6 INT
Michaelee Harris, WR: 26 rec, 356 yards, 2 TD
Dexter Heyman, LB: 55 total tackles, 10 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 INT
Hakeem Smith, S: 43 total tackles, 4 TFL, 8 PB, 1 FF
How do these rivals respond on and off the field following a bitter battle to get into the Big 12. WVU ultimately got the spot, but it wasn't pretty. Look for Louisville to play with a bit of a chip on their shoulder, trying to prove that the Big 12 took the wrong program. As for the fans? Well, expect a lot of talk going both ways. It will be eventful, though I'm sure WVU officials are happy that it wasn't Louisville who got it over WVU...or this weekend could have been really ugly.
It's a battle of the best offense and the best defense in the Big East. Something has to give, right? WVU's offense will certainly go right at the best defense in the conference, but can they survive another slow start? Will Louisville look to cut off the run, or go right after Geno Smith? How about the Louisville offense against the WVU defense? Can Teddy Bridgewater do enough against an inconsistent unit? A lot of questions to be answered on Saturday.
WVU once again controls their own destiny. And you wonder if this team is going to get back to playing on a high level following the second half of the Rutgers' game. The team stepped up after six quarters of mediocre play. Whatever that lapse was, it was quickly forgotten with how the Mountaineers did in that second half. WVU has plenty of tough games left, but if they play to potential they should fare well.
Will we see changes on the defense? Specifically at the cornerback position. Broderick Jenkins ended the game with two picks, but more importantly just flat out played better than Pat Miller. Miller had another tough game, which included two pass interference calls. He has made some nice plays this year, but has been inconsistent at best. Jenkins may have earned himself more playing time. We'll see on Saturday.