Aside from the obvious current two game skid that the Mountaineers are trying to end against the Sooners, there are two other streaks at stake Saturday night. One good. One bad. We're going to take a look at both, but let's address the bad streak first.
Everybody is aware that magic things tend to happen under the lights in Morgantown. While that's usually the case, WVU's opponents from the Big 12 seem to be immune to the phenomenon thus far. That's right. WVU is 0-5 under the lights in Morgantown taking on Big 12 foes. A big FAT 0-FER. Let's take a look back from the beginning.
October 20, 2012
West Virginia came into this game after suffering their first setback of the season in Lubbock the week before. Mountaineer fans thought that game was the exception rather than the rule coming into this game. Wrong. WVU came out and laid an absolute egg in the perhaps the worst game I've ever seen in person at home.
November 3, 2012
WVU missed a field goal late in the 4th quarter, giving TCU the ball back with 2:07 remaining to be exact and up by a touchdown. The horrid WVU pass defense reared it's head once again and Trevone Boykin found Josh Boyce in the flat and he proceeded to outrun everyone for a touchdown. Both teams missed field goal attempts in the first OT. WVU struck on the first play of 2OT with a touchdown strike to Stedman Bailey from Geno Smith. TCU answered then decided to go for two. A disputed call later and TCU exits Morgantown with a W.
November 17, 2012
This will forever be known to Mountaineer fans as Tavon's Night, despite the end result. Tavon completely ripped the Oklahoma team to shreds in every way possible. But, when WVU took the lead with 2:53 to go in the 4th quarter, the entire stadium knew WVU had scored too quickly. The defense couldn't hold and the Sooners escaped.
November 9, 2013
WVU broke out the surprise throwback helmets for this one, but it didn't help. Clint Trickett started the game but was unable to finish the first quarter after leaving with an injury. Paul Millard filled in admirably, but the Mountaineers couldn't stop the Texas pressure and gave the ball away 4 times, including the decisive possession in OT.
November 30, 2013
Through the first three quarters, WVU had this game well in hand. A Mario Alford 76 yard pass from Clint Trickett early in the fourth put the Mountaineers up 38-21. Everything was going our way until 3 fourth quarter turnovers allowed ISU to tie the game and send it to OT. The teams traded field goals in the first 2 OT sessions before the Cyclones broke through with a touchdown in the 3rd OT. On 4th and goal from the 5, Trickett connected with Daikiel Shorts who was tackled at the 2 yard line to end the game and send the Riot Bowl trophy home with the boys from WRNL.
Here's where the news gets good By-Godders. Despite the struggles at home under the lights in the Big 12, WVU also is undefeated in Big 12 home openers. Granted it's only been two years, but after the last two seasons, we will take any form of positivity in the win column we can get.
September 29, 2012
WVU striped the stadium for the first time ever to welcome the new era of Big 12 Football to Morgantown. While the Oklahoma game later that season was Tavon's Night, this was Geno's Day as he lit up the Baylor secondary for a school record 656 yards and a mind boggling 8 touchdowns. Stedman Bailey had 303 yards on 13 grabs and Tavon had 215 yards on a school record 14 catches (since tied by Bailey). J.D. Woods also eclipsed the century mark with 114 yards on 13 catches and the one of the prettiest one handed grabs you'll ever see to help WVU run the clock out near the end of the game.
September 28, 2013
This game gave the Mountaineer faithful a glimpse of what we're now seeing with a healthy Clint Trickett at the helm of Coach Holgorsen's offense. He didn't set the world on fire, but he took charge. Nobody gave WVU much of a chance in this game, especially after the Maryland debacle the week before. The Pokes took an early 7 point lead on yet another long pass play allowed by the defense. Following an interception thrown by Trickett, WVU was able to force a turnover of their own with Icky Banks returning an interception for a touchdown, tying the game. Trickett and Charles Sims were the stories on offense, but the real story was the defense consistently holding the Pokes under control for the majority of the game.
So there you have it; two streaks, one night. Will WVU drop an unthinkable SIXTH straight conference home night tilt or can Milan Puskar Stadium regain its stature as one of the most notoriously intimidating environments after dark? Can the Mountaineers get off on the right foot for the third straight year in Big 12 play in the friendly confines? Something's got to give on Saturday night. Two streaks enter. One streak leaves. Which will it be?