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Fifty West Virginia Mountaineer Football Facts For 2015

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With approximately 50 days until kickoff the Smoking Musket provides you with 50 facts related to the upcoming season.

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1. 2015 will be head coach Dana Holgorsen's fifth season as head coach for the Mountaineers. During that time WVU's record is 28-23.

2. In Don Nehlen's fifth season as head coach of the Mountaineers Nehlen posted a record of 8-4.

3. In Rich Rodriguez's fifth season as head coach of the Mountaineers Rodriguez posted an 11-1 record, and won the Sugar Bowl.

4. 2015 marks the ten-year anniversary of the Sugar Bowl season.

5. Since that season the Mountaineers have posted a 78-38 record.

6. In 2014, Clint Trickett was sacked once every 16 pass attempts.

7. In 2014, Skyler Howard was sacked once every 27.5 pass attempts.

8. WVU was 4th in the Big 12 in passing offense in 2014.

9. Howard will be a junior in 2015. The most passing yards by a junior quarterback at WVU was 4,385 by Geno Smith in 2011.

10. Howard led the team in yards per carry in 2014 posting a 6.4 ypc average.

11. In 2014 WVU was 1st in the Big 12 in kick returns, but 10th in punt returns.

12. During the Holgorsen era at WVU the least receptions by the team's leading receiver was 45 by Daikiel Shorts in 2014.

13. WVU's leading returning receiver is Jordan Thompson.

14. Thompson averaged 3.76 receptions and 46 receiving yard per game in 2014.

15. WVU's next leading returning receiver is Shorts who average 1.8 receptions and 14.4 receiving yards per game in 2014.

16. WVU has had four wide receivers drafted in the last three years (Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kevin White, and Mario Alford).

17. Of those four receivers only Tavon Austin was a four star recruit.

18. The other three receivers were all three star recruits (Bailey, White, and Alford).

19. WVU's current roster has fourteen wide receivers.

20. Five of those wide receivers are from the state of Florida.

21. Of those fourteen receivers only Shelton Gibson and Jovon Durante are four star recruits.

22. Five of eighteen defensive backs on the Mountaineer roster are also from the state of Florida.

23. The Mountaineer rushing attack is expected to be a strength of the team in 2015. In 2014 WVU's rushing offense was ranked 45th in the nation.

24. WVU was 4th in rushing offense in the Big 12 in 2014.

25. WVU returns its two leading rushers from last year in Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood.

26. In 2014 Shell rushed for 788 yards and Smallwood rushed for 722 yards.

27. Redshirt freshman Donte Thomas-Williams is expected to contribute to the rushing attack this year. The most rushing yards in a season by a freshman running back at WVU under Holgorsen was 742 yards by Dustin Garrison in 2011.

28. Of the three running backs on the current roster who are expected to get the most carries, Smallwood is the lowest ranked recruit (3 stars), Shell was a five star recruit, and Thomas-Williams a four-star recruit.

29. According to Dana Holgorsen Smallwood has the same skill set as former WVU running back Charles Sims who currently plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

30. The Mountaineer were 4th in total offense in the Big 12 in 2014.

31. In 2014 WVU had 3 games decided by three points or less and held a 2-1 record in those games.

32. In 2014 WVU's six losses came by an average of nine points.

33. Three of the last four losses in 2014 came by an average of five points.

34. In 2014 WVU's seven wins came by an average of 18.5 points.

35. The WVU defense is expected to be a strength of the team in 2015 based on their 2014 performance. However, in 2014 the defense finished 68th in total defense and 74th in scoring defense nationally.

36. In the Big 12 in 2014 WVU was 1st in opponent 3rd down conversions.

37. In the Big 12 in 2014 WVU was 2nd in pass defense.

38. In the Big 12 in 2014 WVU was 3rd in total defense.

39. In the Big 12 in 2014 WVU was 7th in sacks against.

40. In the Big 12 in 2014 WVU was 8th in penalties.

41. In the Big 12 in 2014 WVU was 9th in sacks.

42. In the Big 12 in 2014 WVU was 10th in turnover margin.

43. In 2014, nationally, WVU ranked 122nd out of 128 teams in turnover margin at -15.

44. WVU's defense forced only six fumbles in 2014.

45. WVU's 2015 strength of schedule is ranked 29th nationally.

46. 2015 marks WVU's fourth season in the Big 12. Their total conference record is 11-16.

47. Last year's 5-4 conference record was the best the Mountaineers have possessed since joining the Big 12.

48. WVU has yet to beat the following Big 12 teams as a member of the conference: Oklahoma and Kansas State.

49. WVU has a winning record against four schools in the Big 12: Baylor (2-1), Iowa State (2-1), Kansas (2-1), and Oklahoma State (2-1).

50. Every team in the Big 12 has defeated the Mountaineers.