Ye olde notebook:
County singer Trace Adkins will be at Morgantown's Milan Puskar Stadium to sing. The place will have an absolute carnival-like atmosphere.
Expect that to carry over to the game. Expect that to carry over into the season.
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen, experienced in Big 12 ways, has been warning all. And sure enough, he's correct. The only league that's averaging more offensive plays per game is Marshall's Conference USA (75.2). Of the BCS conferences, only the Pac-12 (73.8) is close to the Big 12's average of 74.
The subject is tempo. And last week, Holgorsen was fidgeting like a child in church watching his team against Maryland.
"What they were doing . . . was huddling, getting on the
ball and then waiting for 30 seconds," Holgorsen said on Tuesday. "How they do that, I don't know. That's hard to watch."
He won't have to watch it Saturday. Or most days from here on out.
"Maryland tried to take the air out of the ball," said offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson.
"Baylor won't care what West Virginia does on offense. You have two teams that want to go fairly fast."
In Baylor's first three contests, the average total offensive snap count for the game was 165. (Of SMU, Sam Houston State and Louisiana-Monroe, the fewest number of snaps taken by a BU opponent has been SHSU's 83.) In WVU's Marshall game, 175 snaps were taken. Maryland, though, did slow the game, taking 65 for WVU's 68. The Mountaineers are averaging 72 snaps.
In sum, buckle your badonkadonks for this one.
In the Maryland game, those fans saw what the absence of Alston means to WVU's offense. It went from almost unstoppable with a running threat to one-dimensional and vulnerable without one.
The view from here is that running game could tip the scales in WVU's favor on Saturday. West Virginia's Geno Smith will be able to throw the ball. Baylor's Nick Florence will be able to throw the ball. The Mountaineer defense has a good shot at limiting Jarred Salubi and the Bear run game.
If West Virginia has a healthy Alston, though, he'll be going against the nation's No. 87 run defense. BU is ninth among the 10 Big 12 teams in the statistic, allowing an average of 177.7 yards per game.