Bits & Bytes: W&M Edition

With kickoff less than a day away, we offer up our last collection of tidbits and items of interest on the West Virginia - William & Mary game.

OUT OF THE SOUTHLAND

The WVU game marks the first time since 2005 that William & Mary's Football Bowl Subdivision opponent has not hailed from the ACC. The Tribe is returning to the same state as it did eight years ago, when it faced Marshall and lost 36-24.


LONG HISTORIES\TRIVIA

WVU and William & Mary have both played 120 seasons of college football. The Mountaineers are 708-463-45 all-time, while the Tribe is 543-536-41.

WVU's 45 ties may sound like a lot, but that places the Mountaineers, appropriately enough, in a tie for just 39th all-time in Division 1. What school, according to the NCAA, has the most ties in D1? Answer at the end of this column.


RETURN TO SENDER

West Virginia special teams coach Joe DeForest has noted concern over West Virginia's kickoff coverage, as the Mountaineers don't have anyone who can consistently boot the ball deep enough to produce touchbacks. The same might happen on the flip side, as William & Mary kicker John Carpenter produced just 16 touchbacks in 47 kickoffs a year ago.


NEAR STUMBLE

West Virginia has never lost to William & Mary, but it did sustain one blemish alongside its 15 wins. The Tribe (then known as the Indians) managed a 16-16 tie in a 1967 game in Williamsburg, Va.


NO FLAGS NEEDED

During the past few seasons, W&M has established itself as one of the nation's least-penalized teams. Last season, W&M ranked eighth nationally among FCS teams with just 4.18 penalties per game. Additionally, it ranked eighth in fewest penalty yards per contest (38.45).

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In 2011, W&M was the second-least penalized team at the FCS level, committing just 3.64 penalties for an average walk-off of 30.0 yards per game.


LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Shannon Dawson is the only Mountaineer assistant scheduled to perform his game day duties from the press box. All of the other WVU coaches are set to work on the field.


WVU CONNECTION

Former Mountaineer coach Bill Stewart was W&M head coach Jimmye Laycock's offensive line coach at the school from 1981-83. Laycock remains at the helm of the Tribe, and is entering his 34th year with a head coaching record of 215-160-2. He currently ranks as the fifth-winningest active coach in the FCS.


UGLY CONNECTION

Kevin Rogers is William & Mary's offensive coordinator. He was an assistant coach at Syracuse for the infamous brawl game in 1992, in which Orange quarterback Marvin Graves sparked a bench-clearing brawl that led to the ejections of three Mountaineer defensive players and one Syracuse backup offensive lineman. Rogers was quoted as saying that he did not touch anyone during the brawl, but video clearly showed him grabbing Tommy Orr during the melee. Rogers was hired as W&M's offensive coordinator this summer.


TRIVIA ANSWER

Kansas, with 58 ties in 123 years of play, leads Navy and TCU by one in the number of Division 1 ties all-time. The Big 12 features a third school in the top ten of this list, as Oklahoma has 53 ties in 118 years of action.

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