There’s a lot of familiarity between the football coaching staffs at West Virginia University and Oklahoma State. The team that deals best with that familiarity may very well come out on top Saturday when the two teams square off in a Big 12 match-up.
OSU is where Mountaineer coach Dana Holgorsen worked the season before taking the WVU job. A few Mountaineer assistant coaches also spent time on the staff in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
“They know this team personnel-wise better than any team they’ll play all year,” Mountaineer Sports Network play by play announcer Tony Caridi predicted Friday on the MetroNews Morning News.
Both teams come into the 3:30 contest in need of a victory. The Cowboys (5-3, 3-2) lost a tough one last week against Kansas State while WVU (5-2, 2-3) has lost three games in a row for the first time since 2004.
Caridi says Coach Holgorsen and his staff have been preaching maximum effort this week.
“Playing every single snap to the absolute max of your potential,” Caridi said. “They felt that’s one of the big things that hasn’t happened and that’s cost them the game.”
WVU’s psyche is bruised and battered because of the losing streak and then word came Thursday that freshman receiver Travares Copeland has left the team. Caridi says Coach Holgorsen briefly addressed the situation during his Thursday night show on MetroNews.
“They wanted him to do certain things and he didn’t do what they wanted him to do. It’s a whole big circle. That could be practice that could be classes, the whole way around,” Caridi said.
The Mountaineers and the Cowboys haven’t met since Christmas Day 2007 when they were opponents in the Sun Bowl. OSU coach Mike Gundy was the quarterback on that team.
“They (WVU) were 6-5 when we played them. We watched them on tape and we knew they were really good,” Gundy remembered earlier this week. “They had the quarterback (Major Harris) who was a good player. They had a wideout who was like 6-4 (Reggie Rembert).”
The Cowboys won the game 35-33 as WVU’s attempt for a two-point conversion tie fell just short with about 1:00 to play in the game.
Kickoff Saturday in Stillwater is set for 3:30. Pregame coverage on MetroNews begins at 11:30. Pre and post game coverage can be found at wvmetronews.com.