This isn't the first time this has happened this year. Students didn't claim the full 12,500 tickets to attend October's game against the University of Connecticut. However, athletic department officials didn't have to sell off those unused tickets.
"One difference for that game was we had not sold all of the general public seating areas," Wells said. "This game, we've sold all the general public seats, including all the returns from visiting teams from section 100, and if we didn't open up the student section, we'd be turning people away that wanted to buy tickets to the game."
Demand among Louisville fans was lower than expected.
"They returned the majority of the 3,000 tickets they took originally," Wells said. "They will have approximately 500 fans here."
WVU began selling those extra 2,500 seats on Tuesday - though they didn't last long.
"This morning (Wednesday) we finished up the sale of the return tickets and by mid-morning we started selling the student tickets in section 211," Wells said.
That section can hold about 400 people. Once those seats sell, officials will look to see if they need to open up the larger section 210, which holds about 1,000 people.
"We'll continue to monitor student ticket numbers, as well as our tickets to public, to keep things open as long as we can with the least impact on students in an effort to fill the stadium as best we can," Well said.
Bailey said student government is committed to making sure the football team plays before a packed house.
"We want to do as much as we can to make sure that as many Mountaineer fans can see a game if they want to," Bailey said. "And we're going to do everything possible to fill the stadium for the game."
With future Big 12 games set to pique interest in the football team, it does raise the question about whether the school should cut back on the number of seats it sets aside for students.
Wells said it's too soon to gauge how that will play out.
"I think it's premature to speculate just based on what we're doing this week," he said. "This is more a short term trying to do something to fill the seats on Saturday. I don't think you can read much into this long-term."
He said the student ticket allotment is something university, athletic department and student government leaders will have to evaluate over the next year.
Bailey said he expects demand to surge once the team joins the Big 12. He said students are already gearing up mentally for some of the big games that could take place in Morgantown next fall.
"They're excited," he said. "Students now realize that WVU's moving on the up and up."
Contact writer Jared Hunt at jared.h...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148.