MORGANTOWN -- Saturday night won't be the first time Dana Holgorsen has been involved in a night game between two ranked teams in a rowdy atmosphere.
He hopes it's not the last time he's part of one at West Virginia, either.
"Well, we'll see,'' the West Virginia coach said when asked about his expectations for the atmosphere at No. 16 WVU's game against No. 2 LSU. "It's the first night game. Everybody's fired up about it. I've been in a lot of night games that are sold out that had 60,000 to 110,000 people in it.
"There are a lot of good atmospheres out there. The only thing we can worry about is how good we can make this atmosphere. Everybody should show up and be real loud and enjoy it. But that needs to be a constant, too.''
In other words, why should LSU be any different than Norfolk State?
Well, OK, maybe there is a difference. Still, the point is well taken. And Holgorsen isn't the first West Virginia coach to make it.
"The team that's coming in, do you think they're going to be used to that?'' Holgorsen asked. "Their place is like that every night, every game. Regardless of who they play, that's the way it is.''
As much as West Virginia fans would sometimes like to believe Mountaineer Field is the same way, well, it's just not. In the 10 seasons prior to this one, West Virginia played 65 home games. And while some were technically sellouts, the actual attendance at only 19 of those 65 home games was at or above the stadium's capacity of 60,000.
In 2002, the Mountaineers were 9-4 and didn't draw a capacity crowd for a single game. In only two of the previous 10 years did the school drawn more than two crowds of 60,000. And even in those two seasons -- 2006 and 2007 -- there were four games where the attendance was below capacity.
LSU, on the other hand, has the eighth-largest on-campus stadium in the country. Capacity there is more than 92,000. In each of the last five years the school has averaged over 92,000 fans per game. And the Tigers' only home game so far this season brought in 92,405.