Online Now 237

Players Expect Rowdy Atmosphere

The old saying may go "Everything is bigger in Texas," but the same should hold true that everything is bigger for Texas, as well. West Virginia will host the Longhorns this Saturday and the University is pulling out all the stops. The Mountaineers are employing their Stripe the Stadium look, and the game was given the prime time television slot, as well as a nationally-televised audience.

Rowell says Saturday night "is going to be something special."

For the players, they know what that means for opposing teams.

"This is a different atmosphere," said senior defensive tackle Shaq Rowell. "I played at Texas last year and Oklahoma this year, but those guys are going to have to come in here and witness Morgantown at 7-o-clock at night. It's going to be something special."

For junior quarterback Clint Trickett, this will be his first time experiencing it as a player, but he's seen what Milan Puskar Stadium can look like for night games, being in attendance for several as the son of former offensive line coach, Rick Trickett.

"There's a lot of good games, a lot of good memories," said Trickett, specifically mentioning the win over Virginia Tech in 2003 and the overtime victory against Rutgers in 2006. "It will be exciting."

Trickett admits that his main focus will be to not get caught up in all the hoopla surrounding the game.

"You can’t put too much (thought) into it, because you still got to play the game," he said. "At some point you’re still going to look at it and realize what you’re doing and what situation you’re in. It’s going to be hard not to get caught up in the emotion, but that’s my job to stay even-keeled."

Most of the, let's call it "ambiance," will come courtesy of the student section. While often ridiculed for late showings at noon games, the group as a whole has a history of strong performances at night.

"I can’t wait to see how the student section reacts. I’ve been in games in Morgantown where the student section just takes over the game," said senior offensive lineman Pat Eger. "They’ve had to bring out the riot control before. That’s what I’m hoping to see this weekend."

For junior corner Ishmael Banks, he agrees.

"I just love these night games in Morgantown; there's nothing like it," he said. "I don't care what anybody says. The fans, they show up for night games. I love it."

Still, Banks has one concern about giving the students and fans all day to, uh, "prepare."

"I'm just hoping they don't burn the stadium down before the game."

Already have an account? Sign In