Georgia State athletics

Duvall Smith is part of a Georgia State running game averaging only 2.4 yards per carry.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — We’ve dusted off media guides, Googled till our fingers turned sore and conversed across offices and cubicles … all in an effort to answer this week’s burning question:

Is Georgia State the worst opponent WVU has faced in the last 30 years?

The Panthers (0-2) have lost two games rather handily to Samford and UT-Chattanooga this season, making them 1-14 in their last 15 games against FCS teams. Oh yeah—two offensive line starters left the team this week, and an assistant coach was reassigned. (Even West Virginia safety Darwin Cook struggled to be diplomatic this week when asked about GSU’s strengths, finally replying, “Their uniforms are cool.”)

Georgia State athletics

Ronnie Bell has thrown for three TDs and two interceptions this season, but Georgia State has been outscored 73-35.

This is a rock-bottom program, no doubt, but can it really be the puniest to line up against WVU in the past three decades? To assist, we narrowed down the chronological list of previous patsies:

1983: WVU defeated Pacific 48-7. The I-AA Panthers were bad—3-9 bad—but they beat Oregon, so no way they’re the worst.

1983: WVU defeated Ohio 55-3. The Bobcats finished 4-7, beating teams that were a combined 9-35. Georgia State would gladly take four wins this season against anybody. 1983 Ohio, you’re safe.

1988: WVU defeated Cal Fullerton 45-10. That Titans team went 5-6 and featured future CFL legend Mike Pringle, so even though the program disbanded four years later, we’re inclined to

1988: WVU defeated Bowling Green 62-14. How offensively challenged were the Falcons on their way to a 2-8-1 record? Quarterback Rich Dackin had a 0-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

1993: WVU defeated Eastern Michigan 48-6. Those Eagles were 4-7 yet Louisville saw enough promise in coach Ron Cooper to hire him two years later. EMU gets immunity.

1995: WVU defeated Kent State 45-6. The Golden Flashes (1-9-1) ranked 107th out of 108 Division I-A teams in scoring offense and 98th in points allowed. POSSIBLE WORST-TEAM CONTENDER.

1997: WVU defeated Rutgers 48-0. Don’t think a major-college team belongs in this discussion? Well these Knights were 0-11 and posted the second-worst scoring margin in I-A. Ask JaJuan Seider how bad they were—he saw mop-up duty behind Marc Bulger.

2002: WVU defeated UT-Chattanooga 56-7. Pathetic team. Brought in UCLA transfer Ryan McCann and still lost its first nine games. Coach was fired at season’s end. Meets all the criteria for POSSIBLE WORST-TEAM CONTENDER.

2006: WVU defeated Eastern Washington 52-3. The Eagles went 3-8 in a down season sandwiched between FCS playoff berths.

2010: WVU defeated Coastal Carolina 31-0. The Chanticleers were only 6-6 but won the Big South and reached the FCS playoffs. Wethinks they would handle Georgia State by two touchdowns.

2011: WVU defeated Norfolk State 55-12. The Spartans won nine games, advanced to the FCS playoffs and actually led West Virginia 12-10 at half. Norfolk State wouldn’t have the same second-half meltdown against GSU.

2012: WVU defeated Kansas 59-10. Don’t think a conference rival belongs on this list? See Rutgers circa 1997. And remember the Jayhawks (1-11) earned their lone win, barely, against an FCS team and managed to go an entire season without a wide receiver catching a touchdown.

As always, we welcome your recollections on the blowouts of yesteryear.


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  • Ben Dover

    Its hard to imagine that a team could be embarassed with a win... but, WVU showed that today. Holy crap. This is going to be a long season.

  • Tim walters

    Send Alan Taylor back to the sec. His articles just make fun of weaker teams and that's not funny.WVU was one of the weaker teams years ago. Remember how many years Penn state kicked our but
    Wonder what Alan's song would have been then.Metro fire this Guy!!!!

  • Kevin

    William, just SHHHHHHH!

    Hostetler? Really? "Holy Smokes", he continually gets sued for his business practices and struts around Mon County with his hand extended for free passes/meals.

    Besides he is a proven failure running an offense for the most underachieving program in the history of high school football. U high has wasted more talent than a lot of teams have. Yeah Hostetler is the answer. Take us back to the dark ages.

    If so, better keep GSU on the schedule and call the AD at Pacific. We will need to boost the numbers for Jeffy, and his over sized ego.

  • Rick

    The game will still be interesting...apparently we're in a rebuilding year and NOBODY knows what their capable of yet. Just beat the spread, OK.

  • john

    Running up the score isn't a concern. The concern for the Mountaineers is determining who needs to lead the Mountaineer in a crucial game against Maryland. Is Childress the answer to the QB question? We need a definate determination today. We also want to be healthy against a very good receiving corps in Maryland so everyone should be playing.

  • Scott

    While I do admit to being a Marshall fan I do cheer for WVU every time they play somebody else.But your whole argument about playing Marshall was it didn't help in the BCS rankings then you go sign teams like this.

    • RP

      Scott, I understand your point. As a West Virginian, I am a fan of both teams. As a WVU grad I support Marshall every time they don't play WVU. The difference is that GA St doesn't demand a home and away agreement. I think we will see the non-conference games become more competitive in the future (Alabama).

  • Scott

    While I do admit to being a Marshall fan I do cheer for WVU every time they play somebody else.But your whole argument about playing Marshall was it help in the BCS rankings then you go sign teams like this.

  • msaunders

    I think the D played well against Oklahoma. Any team would have given up that much if there. D was on the field all game we could have won if they could hang onto the ball the refs sucked ask Texas how there. D is BYU tortched them

  • RP

    Yes it one of (if not the) weakest opponent in WVU history. But It comes at a time when we really need it. Break in a new QB, who will be gaining experience and builing confidence. He will need both of those commodities going into Maryland next week. Get the W on the Terps and we've found our man. I like the sound of "four year starter" too!

  • Lo boy

    Halftime.......Georgia State 10, WVU 3. Zzzzzzzzzz...........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Walsingham

    I remember it being real quiet in the stadium a couple of weeks ago with W&M up 17-7. Aside from a missed field goal and an awful 15 yard penalty on W&M's part, that could have been a different game.

  • David

    If the Mountaineers are going to play teams like GA State why can't my Fairmont State Falcons get a shot at the big time? Come on Fairmont will be better than Marshall within 5 to 10 years. Its only fair that WVU's little brother to south gets a little love from big brother.

  • EtotheZ

    I can think of some teams in that could vie for the title of worst opponent: 1987 Ohio U. (1-10 with their only win being a 5 point victory over Div 1-AA opponent Marshall); 1989 Cincinnati (1-9-1 record, tied Rutgers beat Miami,OH); any Temple team from 1993-1999; Rutgers ('99, '01, '02); 2004 Central Flordia (the last WVU opponent to finish the season without a win.)

  • William

    I wish I wood haf gottin mi eddyoukashin.

  • William

    Why don't we play Marshall? The best teem ever