The West Virginia football team dominated the Long Island Sharks up and down the field on Saturday, rolling to a blowout 66-0 win. And the Mountaineers extended two different WVU win streaks.
Not in my house
With a win over Long Island on Saturday, West Virginia has won 18-straight home openers dating back to Rich Rodriguez’s fourth season as head coach for the Mountaineers. Over that time, WVU has won by an average of 31.5 points per game with the largest win being the 66-0 win over Long Island this year.
West Virginia has hosted Marshall three times over that 18-game stretch. In those games, the Mountaineers have defeated Marshall by an average of 29 points per game.
The last time the Mountaineers lost the home opener was in 2003 when the team came up short against No. 20 Wisconsin, 24-17. That West Virginia team went on to finish the season 8-5. Wisconsin finished that season 7-6 and unranked.
Undefeated against FCS
On Saturday, WVU also improved to 22-0 all-time against FCS opponents with a 66-0 victory over Long Island.
FCS schools have fewer players on scholarship and play a shorter season compared to FBS schools like West Virginia. They are also not eligible for the College Football Playoff.
Notre Dame and UCLA are the only FBS teams to have never played against an FCS team. Unlike Notre Dame and UCLA, West Virginia has played against FCS opponents in the past but, like those teams, West Virginia has never lost to an FCS team.
While players know that there is a talent gap between FCS and FBS programs, they are often told to not overlook them.
“You shouldn’t ever take an opponent any less seriously just because they are in the FCS, when you take an opponent's skill for granted that is when you get upset,” said sophomore defensive lineman Akheem Mesidor after the game. “You treat them like any other team and then plot and scheme on them as if they were any other team or a top-10 team.”
Army has the most losses to FCS schools all-time (11), no other FBS team has more than seven.
The Mountaineers have an FCS opponent on the schedule each year until after 2027. The team will most likely continue the trend and add more in the years after that but the schedule does not exist that far in advance yet.
The 1978 season was the first time West Virginia played an FCS opponent, facing Richmond. Richmond and WVU played each other in the 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1982 seasons with West Virginia winning each game.
Following the 1982 season, the Mountaineers took a two decade hiatus from playing FCS opponents. West Virginia has played and defeated FCS opponents in all but three seasons in this century (2001, 2003 and 2007).
Over the last 20 years of playing FCS opponents only three teams came within two 14 points. Those teams were 2009 Liberty (33-20), 2013 William and Mary (24-17) and 2019 James Madison (20-13).