We all know that the Big 12 Conference is the not the most kind when it comes to the amount of travel that the team has to make on a weekly basis. Iowa State is the closest conference opponent in relation to Morgantown, yet it is still well over 800 miles away.
If you follow recruiting closely, you understand that the Mountaineer coaching staff does not go into the Midwest very often and get in recruiting battles with in-league schools. The majority of West Virginia players hail from the southeast region in states such as Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. Of course, there are a number of players from the surrounding states as well (Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania) but their families can make that trip to Morgantown much easier.
This year, the Mountaineers will play two of its first three games on the road, both being in North Carolina. They kick off the season versus the Tennessee Volunteers in the Belk College Football Kickoff in Charlotte. Then two weeks later West Virginia returns to North Carolina to play in Raleigh, the home of North Carolina State.
Senior quarterback Will Grier (Charlotte), junior running back Kennedy McKoy (Lexington), senior defensive lineman Jabril Robinson (Leland) and freshman wide receiver Bryce Wheaton (Fuquay-Varina) will all being looking forward to being able to play in their home state not only once, but twice this season.
The last time a Mountaineer quarterback played an ACC team in his hometown was Geno Smith versus Clemson in the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl. Geno racked up 407 yards through the air and six touchdowns. It’s safe to say that if Will Grier puts up anywhere near those numbers versus Tennessee, West Virginia will notch the win in Charlotte.