It’s Halloween and few things get people in the spooky spirit more than some good scary movies.
For West Virginia fans, the most horrifying of them all is “13-9.” Just hearing the phrase elicits the same spine-tingling chills for Mountaineers as the rapid piano key tune that has made Michael Myers so famous.
Just as other movies are associated with the Halloween holiday, though, there are certainly other games out there that can frighten even the most diehard WVU fan.
Here's a look at the five scariest West Virginia games in the BCS era (1998-present) and what movies they represent.
No. 5: 1998 vs Miami
Summary: It was earlier in the season, so implications were not clear then, but, in the end, this loss cost West Virginia the Big East's automatic bid in the first ever year of the Bowl Championship Series.
Movie Equivalent: Scream (1996)
Explanation: Much like the movie, this game involved a star-studded cast. Miami was led by Edgerrin James, Ed Reed, Santana Moss, Reggie Wayne, Dan Morgan and more, while Marc Bulger, Amos Zereoue, Khori Ivy, David Saunders, Shawn Foreman, etc. lined up on the Mountaineers' sideline. Also like the movie, after a lot of back and forth, there turned out to be TWO killers - the Hurricanes and the referees. WVU was called for 11 penalties for 130 yards - several of them of the questionable variety - and Miami won 34-31.
No. 4: 2006 vs USF
Summary: While an automatic bid was unlikely due to an earlier loss to Louisville, a win over USF would have vaulted West Virginia back into the top five and prime position for an at-large BCS berth. Instead, West Virginia's previously-potent rushing attack could only muster 132 yards and turned the ball over four times in a 24-19 loss, sending the Mountaineers tumbling out of the Top 10.
Movie Equivalent: Misery (1990)
Explanation: The Mountaineers' offense looked like James Caan's character from the movie - two broken legs, a bum shoulder and completely incapacitated.
No. 3: 2004 vs Boston College
Summary: People seem to forget about this game, but West Virginia had an opportunity to seal up a BCS bid with Boston College coming to town. The Eagles hadn't won in Morgantown in 14 years and were underdogs yet again. Right from the start, though, BC was in control, jumping out to a 14-0 lead and cruising to a 36-17 victory.
Movie Equivalent: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
Explanation: A sequel that occurred over a dozen years after the original (1974) that was filled with a lot of gore and was ultimately forgettable.
No. 2: 2003 at Miami
Summary: West Virginia was off to a rough start to the season and traveled down to Miami, who was undefeated and had a top ten ranking. Quincy Wilson had one of the greatest plays in Mountaineer history, but it was not enough. As it turned out, this was also what kept WVU from a conference title and BCS bid, yet again.
Movie Equivalent: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Explanation: In the remake, the survivors take part in, if you will, "an unbelievable run", seemingly getting free of the zombies. In the game, like the remake's post-credits twist, the Hurricanes rise from the dead and show up to hurt WVU in the end - completing a pass to Kellen Winslow, Jr. on 4th and 13 with one minute left and eventually hitting a game-winning field goal to win, 22-20.
No. 1: 2004 at Pittsburgh
Summary: After the embarrassing loss the previous week to Boston College, West Virginia still had an opportunity to earn an automatic BCS bid. All they had to do was beat a 6-3 Pittsburgh team that they had beaten the previous three seasons.
Movie Equivalent: Saw (2004)
Explanation: Tyler Palko acting as the "dead man" in the middle of the room for the vast majority of the movie, going 8-of-28 for 110 yards and one interception. Meanwhile, the other participants in the "game" (West Virginia) are busy slowly killing themselves - two missed field goals in the first half and two interceptions in the second. In the end, the dead man rises from the middle of the room and slams the door shut with a cackle.... or, in the real-life version, Palko goes 6-of-10 for 55 yards and runs in the game-winning touchdown on Pitt's final drive, giving the Panthers a 16-13 victory and swiping the league title and BCS bid away from the Mountaineers.
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