For most younger WVU football fans, early start times are a killer on Saturday mornings.
The late-night partying on Friday night, after a tough workload and long week of classes, must give way quickly to tailgating and gameday preparations.
Most WVU football fans in the younger age demographic, students for the most part, prefer the famous night games at Milan Puskar Stadium. Unfortunately for them, they won’t be experiencing games under the lights early on in the 2016 season.
This week it was announced that two of the WVU football team’s early-season games will be televised nationally. Those kick off times, against Missouri on Saturday, Sept. 3 and against Youngstown State on Saturday, Sept. 10 will be at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.
So, the first game will cause an early wake up call for many students on campus. It also presents a challenge for Mountaineer fans living elsewhere in the state. They have to devise travel plans that will begin either on Friday evening or at the crack of dawn on Saturday.
However, WVU football fans remain some of the most passionate in the entire country. West Virginia football games have been a right of passage and a yearly tradition for thousands living in and around the Mountain State.
These guys certainly have their own personal gameplans devised to a T.
The opening game for each season is usually one of the most well-attended games of the entire season, regardless of opponent. Having Missouri, not only a Power Five team, but also a program in the mighty Southeastern Conference, will spark fan interest immensely.
The Tigers are a team that the Mountaineers have not faced since 1998 in the Insight.com Bowl. Missouri beat West Virginia, 34-31, in that game. In all, the Tigers hold a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series.
The last time the Mountaineers opened the regular season at home with a Power Five non-conference opponent was in 2003 against Wisconsin, a game won by the Badgers, 24-17. That game drew 60,663 fans to Milan Puskar Stadium.
In the past 10 years, the first home game of the season has averaged 58,584. There have been four sellouts in the past 10 home openers, they were in 2011 against Marshall, 2008 against Villanova, 2007 against Western Michigan and 2006 against Marshall.
The largest crowd to open the season was in 2006 against Marshall when 61,077 WVU football fans poured into the stands at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Let’s hope for a similar showing as the Mountaineers hope to impress at a national level against Missouri this season.