WVU Football: Game-By-Game Breakdown of the 2011 Schedule Preview

Chris HumphreyCorrespondent IFebruary 14, 2011

WVU Football: Game-By-Game Breakdown of the 2011 Schedule Preview

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    As the 2010 season started with promise, the end of the season was filled with disappointment and what could have been for the Mountaineers as they stumbled to a 9-4 record.

    Under the supervision of new AD Oliver Luck, Dana Holgorsen will take over the offensive coordinator job after assembling the top offense in the FBS last season for Oklahoma State followed by taking the head coaching job from Bill Stewart in 2012.

    On the personnel side, West Virginia loses playmakers on both sides of the ball for the 2011 season as Noel Devine and Jock Sanders leave from the offense, in addition to JT Thomas and Chris Neild from the top ranked defense of last year.

    The Big East looks to be there for the taking this season for the Mountaineers, so the Stewart era can end with a bang as the Holgorsen era begins for the Gold and Blue.

    With that said, let’s check out the 2011 slate of games for the Mountaineers.

     

    This article and others like it can be found at Sports Haze.com

Marshall Thundering Herd

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    When: September 3rd, 2011

    Where: Mountaineer Field—Morgantown, WV

    2010 Season for the Thundering Herd: 5-7

    Series Record: 9-0 WVU

    Last Meeting: 2010—WVU 24, Marshall 21 OT

    Analysis:

    With the classic game last year in Huntington, the Mountaineers and Herd are closer than most people thought talent wise in many years. As Marshall Coach Doc Holliday continues bringing in new recruits from the Sunshine State, WVU might have just as much trouble as they did last September.

Norfolk State Spartans

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    When: September 10th, 2011

    Where: Mountaineer Field—Morgantown, WV

    2010 Season for the Panthers: 6-5

    Series Record: First Meeting

    Last Meeting: N/A

    Analysis:

    For the Mountaineers, the game with the Panthers will be nothing more than a chance to work the bugs out of the new offense for WVU and a pretty good paycheck from the beatdown for Norfolk State.

    Plain and simple.

LSU Tigers

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    When: September 24th, 2011

    Where: Mountaineer Field—Morgantown, WV

    2010 Season for the Tigers: 11-2

    Series Record: 1-0 LSU

    Last Meeting: 2010—LSU 20, WVU 14

    Analysis:

    When you look at the 2011 schedule, this game will be the biggest game of the year and one of the biggest games ever to take place at Mountaineer field as LSU should be a Top 10, if not a Top 5 team, when the ball is kicked off in Morgantown.

    Dana Holgorsen will need to be sure the new offense is firing on all cylinders as Les Miles will have his LSU defense loaded with playmakers as it does year in, year out in Baton Rouge.  

Bowling Green Falcons

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    When: October 1, 2011

    Where: Mountaineer Field—Morgantown, WV

    2010 Season for the Falcons: 2-10

    Series Record: 2-0 WVU

    Last Meeting: 1991—WVU 24. BG 17

    Analysis:

    Just like the Norfolk State game in September, the game with Bowling Green will be another opportunity to work out some more of the kinks of the offense while still playing full speed in attempt to avoid the trap game a week after the LSU game.

Maryland Terrapins

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    When: TBA

    Where: Byrd Stadium—College Park, MD

    2010 Season for the Terrapins: 9-4

    Series Record: 24-21-2 WVU

    Last Meeting: 2010—WVU 31, Maryland 17

    Analysis:

    As former UConn coach Randy Edsall takes over for Ralph Friedgen, the Mountaineers will look to capitalize on the transition year by the Terrapins as WVU will look to outscore Maryland as they did last year in Morgantown.

Connecticut Huskies

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    When: TBA

    Where: Mountaineer Field—Morgantown, WV

    2010 Season for the Huskies: 8-5

    Series Record: 6-1 WVU

    Last Meeting: 2010—UConn 16, WVU 13 OT

    Analysis:

    With the program in a bit of flux in Storrs, Connecticut may be an easy conference win for WVU as the Huskies lost several key players to their Fiesta Bowl run last season, including bruising running back Jordan Todman.

Louisville Cardinals

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    When: TBA

    Where: Mountaineer Field—Morgantown, WV

    2010 Season for the Cardinals: 7-6

    Series Record: 10-2 WVU

    Last Meeting: 2010—WVU 17, Louisville 10

    Analysis:

    West Virginia might have a bigger test than what people believe as Charlie Strong has obtained the best recruiting class of the Big East this offseason in his quest to rebuild the Louisville program back to the success it had when joining the league in 2005.

Pittsburgh Panthers

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    When: TBA

    Where: Mountaineer Field—Morgantown, WV

    2010 Season for the Panthers: 8-5

    Series Record: 55-34-3 Pittsburgh

    Last Meeting: 2010—WVU 35, Pittsburgh 10

    Analysis:

    After an offseason of coaching changes and loss of players to the NFL, the Mountaineers will look to knock off the rival Panthers for the third straight year as Pittsburgh looks to earn their first Big East title for new coach Todd Graham, leaving Tulsa after a 10 win season.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    When: TBA

    Where: Rutgers Stadium—Piscataway, NJ

    2010 Season for the Scarlet Knights: 4-8

    Series Record: 32-4-2 WVU

    Last Meeting: 2010—WVU 35, Rutgers 14

    Analysis:                     

    It could be very easy just to say WVU is going to win this game since Rutgers haven’t beat WVU since a 17-12 win at home over the Mountaineers in 1994, but with the player turnover from last season, the lack of experience will doom the Scarlet Knights this fall.

South Florida Bulls

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    When: TBA

    Where: Raymond James Stadium—Tampa, FL

    2010 Season for the Bulls: 8-5

    Series Record: Tied 3-3

    Last Meeting: 2010—WVU 20, USF 6

    Analysis:

    After being a thorn in the side of the Mountaineers since joining the league, South Florida could again be that thorn as Skip Holtz will be entering his second season looking for payback in their loss in Morgantown last season.

Cincinnati Bearcats

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    When: TBA

    Where: Nippert Stadium—Cincinnati, OH

    2010 Season for the Bearcats: 4-8

    Series Record: 15-3-1 WVU

    Last Meeting: 2010—WVU 37, Cincinnati 10

    Analysis:

    After the departure of Brian Kelly to Notre Dame, new coach Butch Jones and his style of spread offense will enter its second year in the Queen City, but again with the new Holgorsen offense installed, the Bearcats might be left in the dust this season

Syracuse Orange

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    When: TBA

    Where: Mountaineer Field—Morgantown, WV

    2010 Season for the Orange: 8-5

    Series Record: 31-27 Syracuse

    Last Meeting: 2010—Syracuse 19, WVU 14

    Analysis:

    With the Orange rebuilding in leaps and bounds under the direction of Doug Marrone, Syracuse can be a definite threat this game as well as in the conference race to the Mountaineers as West Virginia will travel to upstate New York for a potential defacto Big East title game.