When: 3:30pm, Saturday October 1
Where: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown WV
What to Watch For When The ‘Eers Have the Ball: The continued ascension of Geno Smith. I tend to hedge my excitement at these sorts of things, looking at the negatives as much as the positives. That said, Geno is going to be one of college football's best quarterbacks when his time in Morgantown is done. What he did against LSU cannot be understated, despite the ‘Eers not coming away with a victory. I think this could be the game where he just goes buck wild, throws six touchdowns and pads his stats in a gaudy way. Sure, WVU could spend time focusing on getting the run game rolling, but I think we're going to see an aerial assault that is without comparison when this one's all done.
What to Watch For When The Falcons Have the Ball: The defensive line. This Bowling Green team is not awful. They're well coached and have some guys who could play anywhere. While I expect WVU's offense to run them off of the field, the verdict is still out on the D. I'd love to see the defensive line get some pressure on the quarterback and I'd love to see the secondary not get burned in coverage. If one of those two things happens, I'll consider it a moral victory for the West Virginia defense.
The Mountaineers Will Roll If: They can play at a level that's remotely close to where they played last week. Despite getting crushed by LSU, WVU showed flashes of greatness last week. The Mountaineers have yet to put together a complete game this season, but one has to think that they're close.
The Mountaineers Will Have Trouble If: They come out unfocused on the task at hand. God knows they're probably not "looking ahead" to UConn next week, but it's possible the focus isn't there tomorrow. The atmosphere last week was electric and this week, especially with rain in the forecast, I expect Mountaineer Field to be kind of anemic. The team still has to get up for this one, and they'll have to do the motivating themselves.
Thing That Makes My Blood Boil: The specter of last week's four turnovers and a blown kick return. I'm still haunted by last week's game, simply because the ‘Eers cost themselves victory. Yes, LSU is a great team, maybe the best in the country. That said, it was relentless turnovers and a lapse of focus on special teams that cost the Mountaineers. WVU did a lot of things well last week, but the big problem was that their mistakes were fatal. Self inflicted damage like that just gnaws away at me and a week later, I'm still not over it. The only thing that can get this taste out of my mouth is an absolute pounding of Bowling Green. Here's hoping it happens.