MORGANTOWN - In addition to the largest home crowd since stadium renovations in 2004, No. 22 West Virginia's primetime game against then-No. 2 LSU was the highest-rated game of the weekend.
ABC said Monday the WVU-LSU, Oklahoma State-Texas A&M, Colorado-Ohio State and Notre Dame-Pitt games were the top-rated ones on any station Saturday. WVU-LSU had a 4.0 rating, which means four percent of all the homes with a television in the country were watching the Tigers beat the Mountaineers, 47-21.
"The atmosphere was fantastic," WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "It was as good an atmosphere as I've been around."
A crowd of 62,056 filled Mountaineer Field, the largest audience since 67,715 watched WVU beat then-No. 16 Pitt, 52-31, Nov. 15, 2003.
The Mountaineers had a three-game winning streak on ABC come to an end and slipped to 14-17 all-time on the network. It was just the third loss in 21 home night games since 2000, but nevertheless impressive to Holgorsen.
"Everyone across the country understood what kind of emotion there was due to the broadcast and the amount of people," he said.
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THE MOUNTAINEERS (3-1) play host to Bowling Green (3-1) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Former Richmond Coach Dave Clawson, who led the Spiders to the FCS semifinal in 2007, is the Falcons coach. In his third season, he has the school's best start since the 2003 team started 7-1.
Bowling Green defeated 2010 Mid-American Conference champion Miami, 37-23, Saturday.
"I know they do a good job throwing the ball around," Holgorsen said. "Their back had a couple 100-yard games. You look at all their stats and they're a top-20 team offensively."
The Falcons are No. 21 nationally in passing offense (303.8 yards per game), total offense (468.5) and scoring offense (38.5 points per game). Quarterback Matt Schilz leads the country with 14 touchdown passes. Receiver Kamar Jorden is tied for No. 29 with 6.5 receptions per game and receiver Eugene Cooper is No. 33 with 93.5 receiving yards per game.
Freshman running back Anthon Samuel is No. 20 with 107 rushing yards per game. He averages 7 yards per carry and had a 96-yard touchdown against the RedHawks as part of his third 100-yard game.
"There's all that, but the one thing that's obvious is they're No. 1 in the country in net punting," Holgorsen said. "It's something that they're No. 1 and we're No. 120. It's going to be interesting to see that battle."
Bowling Green's Brian Schmiedebusch averages 49.1 yards per punt. The Falcons are netting 45.3 yards per punt. Four of Schmiedebusch's 17 punts have been returned for a total of 24 yards.