* * *
ONE OF THE strongest appeals for playing the neutral site game in Landover, Md., is the access to the Northern Virginia and metropolitan Washington, D.C., areas the Mountaineers heavily recruit.
WVU is considered the home team for the game, even though it's far from Mountaineer Field, and will enjoy some of the same recruiting privileges it would have for a regular home game.
"We're able to distribute tickets to recruits," Holgorsen said. "We can have no contact with them, but as guys are calling, like they do each and every week to request tickets to a home game, we can give each kid two tickets. The only difference is we can't have contact with them. When it's a home game on campus, we can."
* * *
THE MOUNTAINEERS rushed for 347 yards against Marshall, the second-highest total in 14 games under Holgorsen. WVU had 367 yards last season against Bowling Green, with 291 coming from Garrison.
While 300-yard games used to be the norm, WVU has only five others since the end of the 2007 season, when the offense averaged 297 yards per game.
"I don't know how much they're going to run it. I think he's going to throw it," Matthews said of Holgorsen. "I think he gets bored. They make so many yards passing that Dana calls some runs so the running backs won't quit."
* * *
HOLGORSEN HAD high praise for James Madison's combination of Scott and quarterback Justin Thorpe, the 2009 CAA rookie of the year who missed all but one game of the 2010 season with a knee injury and five games last season because of a suspension. He has won his last 11 regular-season starts.
Holgorsen was more complimentary of the JMU defense, though.
The Dukes led the CAA in total, scoring and rushing defense in 2011 and were No. 2 in pass defense. They were No. 16 nationally in scoring defense, No. 11 in total defense, No. 13 in rush defense and No. 32 in pass defense.
"It's what they're known for," Holgorsen said. "They've been a top-20 team defense for as long as Coach Matthews has been there. Their middle linebacker (Stephon Robertson) is as good a player as I've seen on tape in quite some time. He makes a ton of tackles and is extremely active. Their safeties are good. They're sound in what they do and they tackle well. They've only missed 10 tackles on two games. I wish we could say that."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.