MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - It might not have resounded with the same loud thud as, say, Appalachian State over Michigan or James Madison beating Virginia Tech, but William & Mary has had its share of success against the big boys in recent years.
The Tribe, which serves as West Virginia's season-opening opponent Saturday at Mountaineer Field (noon kickoff, Fox Sports 1), in three of the last four years has either beaten an FBS opponent or scared the life out of them.
So, heading into another test, might 34th-year head coach Jimmye Laycock wish everyone would just forget those games so his team might be able to sneak up on someone else?
"Well, I wish we'd caught one more pass and had one less penalty against Maryland,'' Laycock said. "That's what I wish.''
Suffice it to say that even without finishing last year's upset bid in College Park, William & Mary has done quite enough to get West Virginia's attention. Yes, the Tribe was just 2-9 last season, but there is that history of wins and near-misses to consider, along with the company W&M keeps in the Colonial Athletic Association.
"It's them and everybody else in that conference,'' West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. "James Madison's in that conference, Villanova's won a national championship, Delaware's won a national championship. They've all beaten I-A opponents. Last year they almost beat Maryland. A couple years ago they beat Virginia. James Madison beat Virginia Tech, Villanova beat Temple. It goes on and on.
"Do we want to be next on that list? I don't think so. So I think we're going to be able to take these guys pretty seriously.''
William & Mary isn't exactly coming to Morgantown with one of its best teams, not after last year went straight downhill after the Maryland game. But the Tribe has done a lot to improve, not the least of which was shaking up its coaching staff and bringing in veteran offensive coordinator and W&M alum Kevin Rogers.