MORGANTOWN - Most of those involved with West Virginia's football program have a vivid recollection of what happened to the Mountaineers a year ago at Connecticut.
Coach Dana Holgorsen does not.
He wasn't around when West Virginia ran for 279 yards, had 414 yards of total offense, held UConn to less than 300 yards, sacked the Huskies four times and still lost. He doesn't recall the seven fumbles. He wasn't there when one of those fumbles, at the UConn 1-yard line in overtime, cost the Mountaineers in a 16-13 loss.
He's not still kicking himself over the one loss, more than any other, that kept West Virginia out of a BCS bowl and put Connecticut into one.
So, shortly after the Mountaineers throttled Bowling Green 55-10 Saturday to move to 4-1 and end the non-conference portion of their season, Holgorsen began to study. He wanted to know what happened.
His conclusion about that defeat a year ago in East Hartford, Conn.?
"That's going to provide a lot of motivation for our guys this week,'' Holgorsen said.
Indeed, if there was any question about whether the Mountaineers could get up for Saturday's noon Big East opener at home against a UConn team that has limped to a 2-3 start, Holgorsen discovered through his film study that that shouldn't be an issue.
He saw that anyone who was around for that game on the West Virginia side of things should be at no loss for motivation.
"I wanted to familiarize myself with what they went through last year,'' Holgorsen said of watching a game that happened while he was busy coaching the offense at Oklahoma State. "We played really well defensively against them and offensively we didn't play terrible. We just turned it over four times, which ended up being the difference in the game.
"It's an important game, it's a conference game and our guys will be motivated due to the fact that we lost to them last year and didn't go to a BCS game because of it.''