Last season’s game against LSU gives WVU confidence heading into this weekend
Published: Thursday, September 22, 2011
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2011 00:09
Last year, the West Virginia football team lost to LSU 20-14 in Baton Rouge.
WVU struggled to get things going offensively in that game, and even though it didn't give up a lot of points, the defense gave up just enough big plays to the Tigers' offense and special teams that they were able to earn the victory.
What that game did for the Mountaineers was extremely important moving forward, though— it proved to them that they could compete with any team in the country.
"I felt like last year we let one get away," said senior inside receiver Tyler Urban. "We made two crucial mistakes and they came back to bite us in the end, but we're ready to take full advantage of it this year though."
The Mountaineers understand that, like last year, they will have their hands full with a dangerous LSU team. But they know they can't focus too much on them, they can only worry about the things they can control while making their game preparations.
"I'm pretty sure the whole nation will doubt us being that these guys are the No. 2 team in the nation and they have a great defense and things like that," said redshirt sophomore wide receiver Stedman Bailey. "It's going to be a big task for us and we're going to just rise to the occasion and go out there and play our game and hope we come out with a win."
While both teams have some similarities, neither will be able to look too much at the things that happened in last year's game for a few different reasons.
The most obvious one is that West Virginia looks much different offensively now that head coach Dana Holgorsen has arrived. LSU even looks a little different on that side of the ball this season.
Even though things have changed a little bit, Holgorsen still expects the Tigers to be the fast, powerful team they have always been under head coach Les Miles.
"(Miles) is where their physical style of play comes from. He's done a good job with that," Holgorsen said. "When he was at Oklahoma State back when I was at Texas Tech, they were one of the more physical teams that we faced. He brings a physical nature to the offense."
Although the Tigers come into the game ranked second in the country, the Mountaineers don't think they will be intimidated at all when they step on the field with them Saturday night.
Much of that is thanks to the way they were able to play with them on the road last season and, even though they struggled, they still had a chance to win the game.
"We played against them before," Urban said. "We were down in their territory, so there's that confidence that we have matched up against them.
"We've done a lot of negative, so we're just focusing on the positives this year and it's our time to shine."