Mountaineers putting up their Dukes
MORGANTOWN -- There are plenty of examples of a Football Championship Subdivision school knocking off a highly rated Football Bowl Subdivision program early in the season.
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is aware of this, and he knows his players are as well as the No. 9 Mountaineers (1-0) get ready to square off against one of the top FCS teams in the country in James Madison (2-0) this weekend.
The 4:30 p.m., Saturday, non-conference game is at FedExField in Landover, Md., home of the NFL's Washington Redskins. Root Sports has the telecast.
James Madison comex into the game ranked No. 5 in the Football Championship Subdivision and has a history of upsetting teams, as they proved when they beat then-No. 13 Virginia Tech in 2010.
"You're going to make reference to (the Virginia Tech win), but it's happening more and more," Holgorsen said. "Everyone remembers when Appalachian State beat Michigan, well that's happening almost every week now. We are going to be motivated this weekend.
"We don't want them talking about us in that category on Saturday."
The Mountaineers will likely see James Madison without one of its most dangerous offensive weapons.
Junior running back Dae'Quan Scott suffered an ankle injury in last week's 42-3 victory against Alcorn State and JMU head coach Mickey Matthews said Tuesday that he doesn't expect him to see the field against West Virginia.
Scott ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns before going out with the injury and ran for more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore last season.
"That would be like us being without one of our top guys," Holgorsen said. "There is nothing we can do to worry about that. We don't worry about injuries too much. We want to line up and play. He's a great player on tape."
James Madison's defense has been solid so far this season, allowing just 10 points in two home games -- a 55-7 defeat of St. Francis (Pa.) and the win over Alcorn State.
Holgorsen sees that defense doing some of the things he'd like to see his young Mountaineer defense get better with.
"They tackle well and they are sound. If you are fundamentally sound and you play with effort, you will be good," Holgorsen said. "What I see out of them is what I would like to see out of us. We want to get to the ball and make tackles. We need to do it all the time, instead of two-thirds of the time.
"It is really pretty impressive watching them get to the ball and making tackles. The challenge for us will be getting to guys and sustaining our blocks.
"It's going to make our job harder offensively because of their fundamentals."