MCT REGIONAL NEWS
By Mike Casazza
Charleston Daily Mail, W.Va.
Sept. 19--MORGANTOWN -- ESPN will hold College GameDay on West Virginia's campus Saturday as the 16th-ranked Mountaineers play host to No. 2 LSU. ABC will televise the 8 p.m. game.
GameDay has never in its 25-year history been to Morgantown. The last time GameDay visited a Big East campus was in 2005 when Notre Dame played at Pitt. Charlie Weiss was in his first game with the Fighting Irish and Dave Wannstedt debuted with the Panthers. Notre Dame won, 42-21.
WVU has never beaten a team ranked Nos. 1 or 2 in the Associated Press bowl. The Mountaineers have beaten No. 3 a few times, most recently against Oklahoma in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl.
The Tigers will be the highest-ranked team at Mountaineer Field since top-ranked Miami won 40-23 in 2002.
WVU will announce later this week the location of the GameDay set, which is where the network conducts its live pregame show before noon kickoffs. That is open to the public. The show starts at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and then switches to ESPN at 10 a.m.
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OUTSCORED 10-3 and outgained 229-109 in the first two first quarters this season, WVU (3-0) led Maryland (1-1) 14-3 and had a 134-63 edge in yards after Saturday's first quarter.
The Mountaineers took that momentum to build a 27-10 halftime lead.
"The biggest single thing we tried to get across this week was to hit the field with some excitement and start the game fast," said Coach Dana Holgorsen, the first coach to win his first three games at WVU since Bobby Bowden in 1970. "I felt like we had a really good week of practice and we started the first half well. I felt like we won all three sides of the ball."
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THE MOUNTAINEERS might have led by more, but their first drive ended when freshman running back Andrew Buie lost a fumble after an eight-yard run to the Maryland 25-yard line.
That was the team's first turnover of the season, but two more would follow. Quarterback Geno Smith was sacked and lost a fumble in the second quarter and later threw an interception in the third quarter when receiver Ivan McCartney couldn't hold onto a pass on the sideline.
"Terrible," Holgorsen said. "All three could have been prevented very easily. A dropped ball tipped up and led to a touchdown.
"The first one, Geno got sacked and fumbled, but if he went to the left instead of the right like he was told, he could have gotten it out of his hand. Buie just needs to have two hands on the ball when he's getting closed in on."