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2009 West Virginia Mountaineers Football Preview

2009 West Virginia Mountaineers season preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official West Virginia Mountaineers football preview as well as the 2009 West Virginia Mountaineers Football Schedule. After reading this article check out our college football predictions against the current point spread.

Coach: Bill Stewart (2nd year at West Virginia)
Team Name: Mountaineers
2008 Overall Record: 9-4
Returning Starters: 12

The West Virginia Mountaineers (9- 4 overall, 5- 2 Big East) have won the Big East three out of the past five seasons and in that time have been to five straight bowl games. They’ve won their last three bowl appearances, including a 31- 30 victory over North Carolina in last year’s Meineke Car Care Bowl. In 2008, they tied for second in their conference with Rutgers, but in the three preceding seasons they won the Big East with 11 wins per year.

This team looks to be all about rushing. The good news is that the Mountaineers, who had the 15th rated running game in the nation (209.9 YPG), have a wealth of runners, including junior Noel Devine (206 CAR, 1,289 YDs, 4 TDs) and senior QB Jarrett Brown (36 CAR, 169 YDs, 1 TD). But the frontline is young and inexperienced, making the rushing attack vulnerable. Returning receivers include senior Alric Arnett (35 REC, 466 YDs, 6 TDs) and junior Jock Sanders (53 REC, 462 YDs, 7 TDs). Brown has been in training at quarterback for three seasons and must now replace Pat White who established 25 school and/or NCAA records. Brown offers excellent moves and is a talented and skilled passer. He has the chops to improve West Virginia’s 104th ranked passing game.

The defense, which was especially stingy last season, allowing just 17.0 PPG (11th nationally), returns 19 lettermen. The linebacking unit includes juniors J.T. Thomas (65 tackles, 23 solo) and Brandon Hogan (60 tackles). It will be difficult for the Mountaineers to replace LB Mortly Ivy and his 90 tackles. Hogan also notched three picks last season, tying for tops on the team. The frontline is seasoned and talented. Sophomore Robert Sands anchors the secondary.

On special teams, Pat McAfee, who was a total threat on field goals and punts, is gone. It will be tough to replace a guy who could hit a 52-yard field goal, make 36 of 36 extras and average 44.7 YPP. The coverage teams were dismal last season. On returns, Mark Rodgers averaged 21.1 yards.

There’s some very good news on the recruiting front. The Mountaineers and second-year coach Bill Stewart (9- 4 in one year at West Virginia) have managed to enlist four top-notch receivers, making their offense even more formidable. There are a lot of big games on this team’s dance card, including non-conference match ups versus Auburn on September 19 and Colorado on October 1. If they beat Auburn, they’ll have proved they’re a top 25 club and a victory over the Big 12’s Colorado would be impressive. After October 16, three of the team’s last five Big East games are on the road. This is a tough schedule. Pittsburgh visits on November 27 and the Mountaineers visit Rutgers for their final contest on December 5. Both are huge contests. This team can win the conference, but if they don’t, then expect them to finish in the top three. Either a high tier or a BCS bowl will be on their schedule.

West Virginia Mountaineers Football Schedule

Date Team Opponent Site Line Total Points Opp Points
9/5/2009 West Virginia Liberty home        
9/12/2009 West Virginia East Carolina home        
9/19/2009 West Virginia Auburn away        
10/1/2009 West Virginia Colorado home        
10/10/2009 West Virginia Syracuse away        
10/17/2009 West Virginia Marshall home        
10/24/2009 West Virginia Connecticut home        
10/30/2009 West Virginia South Florida away        
11/7/2009 West Virginia Louisville home        
11/13/2009 West Virginia Cincinnati away        
11/27/2009 West Virginia Pittsburgh home        
12/5/2009 West Virginia Rutgers away        

 

For more info on the 2009 West Virginia Mountaineers football program, view the Mountaineers football site or you can read about other Big East teams below.

 

2009 Big East Football Team Previews

All of the Big East teams are featured to the right. Each link under the team previews gives our individual breakdown for the eight Big East colleges. For other teams visit Maddux's 09 college preview page.

If you would like to know how Maddux forecasts the order of finish for the Big East football conference check out the Big East Conference Preview section which is our conference preview as a whole. With only 1 starter back on defense can Brian Kelly get his Bearcats back to the BCS? Will Wannstedt choke away another season with loaded talent? Is Rutgers' schedule just too easy for them not to win the Big East crown?

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