MORGANTOWN W.Va. (KDKA/AP) – The West Virginia Mountaineers (9-3) won their final four games and were Co-Big East Champions this year, but missed out on the automatic BCS bid. Their consolation prize was a meeting with North Carolina State (8-4) at the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla. on Tuesday.
The strong overall season wasn’t enough for WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck, who announced last week that Dana Holgorsen has been hired as West Virginia’s head coach in-waiting. He is scheduled to replace Bill Stewart in 2012. Holgorsen will serve as the Mountaineers’ offensive coordinator next year.
The Mountaineers will be making their eighth consecutive bowl appearance. They have won four of their last five bowl games.
The Mountaineers head into the bowl game ranked second in the FBS in scoring defense and will try and stop the second ranked offense in the ACC. The West Virginia defense allowed 12.8 points, 85.1 rushing yards and 251.3 yards in total defense.
NC State and quarterback Russell Wilson scored an average of 32.6 points per game. He recorded a total of 3,288 passing yards with 26 touchdowns.
The Mountaineers will counter the Wolfpack’s quarterback with a skilled quarterback of their own. Geno Smith was second in the Big East with 2,567 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. Both were good for second most in school history behind Marc Bulger’s 3,607 yards and 31 TDs in 1998.
This will be the first meeting between these schools since North Carolina State’s 38-14 win Sept. 22, 1979. West Virginia leads the series 5-4 and this will be the third meeting in a bowl game.