As much as I hate to start this new series off with a loss, I have to. August 28th is the earliest that West Virginia has ever played a football game, and despite the blowout the game has a pretty interesting story behind it.
WVU and Nebraska were the only two teams to have undefeated regular seasons in 1993. Many in the Mountain State felt it was only right that those two should play for a national championship, but naturally the Mountaineers got bypassed for another power program.
Florida State, who finished with an 11-1 record (losing only to Notre Dame in South Bend by a touchdown), got picked to play in the Orange Bowl against the Cornhuskers and would win to clinch a national title.
So, the Mountaineers’ 1994 season opener against Nebraska was the closest thing to a “what if” game.
As you saw in the highlight above, Tommie Frazier and the Cornhuskers pummeled West Virginia, but they did leave New Jersey with a lot of respect for punter Todd Sauerbrun.
“I’ve never seen anyone kick the ball so far”
-Tommie Frazier, Aug. 28, 1994
The game was the beginning of early season struggles for the Mountaineers, but as you’ll see later in this series, they did recover and moved on to great things.
In 1994, Nebraska would go undefeated and clinch the Big Eight championship as well as being voted consensus national champions after beating Miami in the Orange Bowl.