Scheduling Notes

While Mountaineer and Big East fans anxiously await the completed 2011 football schedule, it appears as if West Virginia's non-conference portion of the slate is complete.

West Virginia's five non-conference games this fall will help the Mountaineers ease into their new offensive system, as four of the games are scheduled at home.

According to schedules gleaned from a variety of sources, WVU will open the season with home games against Marshall and Norfolk State on the first two weekends of September. The Mountaineers will then make its only road trip of the month, traveling to Maryland for a Sept. 17 game against Terrapins before returning home to complete the out-of-conference slate by hosting LSU on Sept. 24 and Bowling Green on Oct. 1.

It should be noted that these dates can't be considered official until announced by West Virginia or the Big East, and that shuffling of previously scheduled dates can happen as the league makes adjustments for various factors, including television considerations.

If the schedule stays as listed, however, it does play out fairly well for a team that will be implementing a new offense and getting comfortable with a revamped coaching staff. While it might be better if the Mountaineers could open with Norfolk State before facing an emotion-charged Marshall team, four home games in the first five weeks should help in preparation for the Big East season to come. With just three home league games this year, West Virginia will have to overcome the tough road venues of Cincinnati, rebuilding Syracuse and likely league favorite USF in order to make a run at the conference championship.

The Big East is expected to announce the complete schedules sometime within the next two weeks.

West Virginia will open spring football practice on Monday, Mar. 28 and hold the annual Gold-Blue game on Friday, Apr. 29.

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