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Who, What and When of the 2024 WVU Football Schedule

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WVU Football HC Neal Brown schedule graphic

One way or another, the 2024 season will be an important year for the WVU football program. Either Neal Brown and his Mountaineers will build off the motmkentum from 2023 and take another step in their climb or prove last season to be an aberration.

So as West Virginia prepares to hit the ground running this fall, let’s take a look at each game on the schedule in a season that marks the dawning of a new era in the Big 12

On a recent appearance on Mike Drop with Mike Asti, a national writer immediately pointed to the schedule as a potential obstacle for WVU in 2024.

“West Virginia caught a tough schedule as far as this is concerned. Not only is their non league tough with Penn State, but the first five Big 12 games will tell you everything,” Bill Bender of the Sporting News told Asti about why he’s projecting West Virginia to finish in more in the middle of the pack instead of contending for the conference title.

And one way or another, West Virginia’s first five games will be a barometer for the season. After opening up the season with three out of conference games, the Mountaineers will play a stretch of Big 12 opponents expected to contend. In that span, WVU will host Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State and face Oklahoma State and Arizona on the road.

Penn State Fox’s BIG NOON Kickoff on Aug. 31 at Milan Puskar Stadium

2023 record 10-3 (7-2, Big Ten)

Penn State beat WVU in the 2023 season opener at Beaver Stadium 38-15. Penn State would finish the year at 10-3 (7-2), losing to Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl. And with the College Football Playoff expanding to 12 teams, there’s an increased pressure on the Nittany Lions to take a step as a national contender.

WVU being at home at Milan Puskar Stadium isn’t enough for major sportsbooks to not view Penn State as a heavy favorite. While the Mountaineers are not as big of an underdog as last season, the first released betting line opened with PSU favored by 12.5.

Early Line Shows West Virginia as Heavy Underdog to Penn State to Open 2024 CFB Season

In addition to the 2023 game marking the first time two historic programs that share a region of the country faced off in decades, the night ended with some controversy.

Despite being up by two scores, PSU head coach James Franklin decided to try to get another touchdown rather than take a knee, and Penn State succeeded, scoring with six seconds left. Brown didn’t like that too much.

“I wouldn’t have done it,” Brown said in his postgame presser. “But it doesn’t bother me. Stuff like that comes back around.”

WVU’s last win over Penn State came in 1988. Penn State has a commanding lead in the all-time series at 49-9-2.

Albany – 6 pm ET on Sept. 7 Milan Puskar Stadium

2023 record 11-4 (7-1, Colonial Athletic Association of FCS)

While Albany is on the heels of an elite season, WVU has never lost to an FCS program and nothing suggests they will suffer that blemish in 2024.

For an ironic twist, West Virginia’s matchup with Albany has a connection to both the Mountaineers’ two other more prominent out of conference games. Albany head coach Gregg Gattuso, a Pittsburgh, Pa. native, played for Penn State in the early 1980s and served on the Pitt staff from 2005-2010.

Pitt – 3:30 pm ET on Sept. 14 at Acrisure Stadium

2023 record 3-9 (2-6, ACC)

As a form of revenge for the 2022 defeat, WVU won the 2023 Backyard Brawl in Morgantown. West Virginia managed to win an ugly game despite losing star quarterback Garrett Greene to an injury early in the game.

Eventual consensus All-American Beanie Bishop and the WVU defense picked off former Pitt quarterback Phil Jurkovec three times en route to a 17-6 victory, setting up a rubber match this fall. Pitt leads the all-time series that dates back to the 19th century 62-41-3, granted a majority of the games took place in Pittsburgh during the early days of the rivalry.

WVU DB Beanie Bishop Blasts Pitt QB Phil Jurkovec, Calls Him Bad at His Job

Kansas – Sept. 21 at Milan Puskar Stadium

2023 record 9-4 (5-4, Big 12)

West Virginia and Kansas did not play last year, but Jalon Daniels ran all over the Mountaineers a game that served as his coming out party in 2022. Daniels threw for 219 yards and ran for 85 more while scoring three touchdowns in the Jayhawks’ 55-42 overtime win.

Even though WVU won’t be caught off guard by Daniels again, this game will undoubtedly be an early test for Garrett Greene and company. Many are now expecting Daniels to lead Kansas to a special season as he returns from an injury plagued 2023.

If West Virginia is going to seriously contend for a Big 12 title, they will need to prove their worth right off the bat against Kansas.

— BYE WEEK — 

Oklahoma State – Oct. 5 at Boone Pickens Stadium

2023 record 10-4 (7-2, Big 12)

Last season, the Oklahoma State game became one of WVU’s four losses. However, West Virginia actually took a lead into the fourth quarter before collapsing at the hands of Ollie Gordon.

The Cowboys’ running back, who many believe is the top player in the entire Big 12, racked up 282 yards on 29 carries with four touchdowns in a 48-34 comeback win over the Mountaineers. As long as Gordon’s recent arrest doesn’t ruin his season, facing Oklahoma State on the road can argue as WVU’s tougher challenge of the season.

Iowa State – Oct. 12 at Milan Puskar Stadium

2023 record 7-6 (6-3, Big 12)

Much like Kansas, WVU avoided playing the next two staple Big 12 foes in 2023. Next up is Iowa State.

And despite enduring a roller coaster season, there’s an expectation that the Cyclones should be back as a threat again this year. Iowa State beat the in 2022 matchup in convincing fashion 31-14, although both teams look very different now from two years ago.

Kansas State – Oct. 19 at Milan Puskar Stadium

2023 record 9-4 (6-3, Big 12)

Kansas State may have taken a bit of a step back a season ago compared to lifting the conference trophy in 2022, but the Wildcats were still completive all year. Some even believe Kansas State could return to glory and win another Big 12 championship if the cards fall in their favor.

Arizona – Oct. 26 at Arizona Stadium

West Virginia is set to make the first long road trip of this new Big 12 when the Mountaineers travel all the way to Arizona just before Halloween. This will be the first ever contest between the West Virginia Mountaineers and Arizona Wildcats.

— BYE WEEK — 

Cincinnati – Nov. 9 at Nippert Stadium

No game is ever a sure thing, but most expect Cincinnati to endure another rough season as the Bearcats continue their transition from being a Group of 5 to the Big 12. An interesting storyline for this matchup will be former Mountaineer linebacker Jared Bartlett meeting his old team after transferring to Cincinnati for his final year of eligibility.

WVU Football Garrett Greene and Preston Fox against Cincinnati

Baylor – Nov. 16 at Milan Puskar Stadium

WVU and Baylor were on opposite tracks when they closed the 2023 regular season in Waco, but it took a miraculous comeback effort for Greene to lead West Virginia to his team’s eighth win. Zach Frazier suffered a serious injury on the final drive of this game, but his presence of mind to get himself off the field impressed NFL scouts and helped get him drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round.

UCF – Nov. 23 at Milan Puskar Stadium

In their first meeting as Big 12 peers, WVU won 41-28 in Orlando, spoiling UCF’s homecoming game. Everything went right for West Virginia on that day and everything went wrong for the Knights.

To beat UCF, the Mountaineer offense will have to be at its best again.

Texas Tech – Nov. 30 at Jones AT&T Stadium

West Virginia’s win over Texas Tech in 2023 snapped a four-game losing streak to the Red Raiders. Projections for Texas Tech are all over place, so the difficulty of this game could depend on the type of season each team has and what the last game of the regular season actually means to either team.

For a related story, is WVU more likely to beat Penn State or win the Big 12?

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