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Big 12 Coaches Discuss WVU

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MORGANTOWN -

Spring football is wrapping up for most schools around the country. West Virginia University closed out spring practice with the Gold-Blue game last weekend. Big 12 coaches were watching their new conference opponent that chilly night.

"I watched their spring game on TV," TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson said. "They can go on offense and all of us in the Big 12 have our work cut out for us, especially when you play them at home."

TCU and West Virginia will officially join the conference on July 1. Both teams finished their final season in their previous conferences. Now all eyes are on the move to the Big 12.

The Big 12 lost Texas A&M and Missouri. It replaced those two schools with West Virginia and TCU.

"I am disappointed that we lost A&M and Missouri," Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy said. "TCU has had great success over the last few years. West Virginia has had a lot of football success over the past 20 years or longer. Geographically it reaches out a bit, but it should strengthen our conference and hopefully we can keep everyone together this time."

Some Big 12 coaches have already led previous teams to Morgantown. They understand what it means to play WVU at Mountaineer Field.

Texas Tech Head Coach Tommy Tuberville made prior trips to Morgantown with Auburn and Miami.

"It's a football town," Tuberville stated. "They love their football because they are sports people. They are a little bit different than this part of the country in terms of rowdiness. They get into it. They wear their blue and gold and it is a unique stadium. It is very loud, but it all goes back to really enjoying their football team. It is a hard place to play. It is a very huge home field advantage whenever you go to West Virginia."

Iowa State Head Coach Paul Rhoads made trips to Morgantown when he was with Pitt.

"It's a great football atmosphere," Rhoads said. "The Mountaineer fans love to come out with great support. It's a stadium that is very similar to ours, minus the bowled-in end. It's a great environment that will add to the Big 12 conference."

Texas Head Coach Mack Brown previously played WVU when he was the Head Coach at North Carolina.

"Coach Nehlen was a great coach," Brown stated. "Rich (Rodriguez) did a great job when he was there and now Dana is doing a great job. You just look at their bowl game with Clemson. They can always run, it's an exciting brand of offense because of their speed. They have always been physical on defense."

West Virginia Head Coach was previously an assistant coach at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, both of whom play in the Big 12. He was on the same staff at Texas Tech as current Baylor Head Coach Art Briles.

"He was a really good coach then and has done an outstanding job at his last two or three stops," Briles said. "He is very familiar with this part of the country and the Big 12. I think it is an exciting addition to the Big 12 bringing West Virginia with their storied tradition and the way they have been on the national scene for the last 20 years or so."

Holgorsen came to West Virginia University from Oklahoma State where he spent one season as Mike Gundy's Offensive Coordinator. WVU will visit Oklahoma State in November. Gundy is downplaying what that game will mean. 

"I don't know if that matters," Gundy said. "It's not real different from anybody else in our league. He may know some of our plays and we may know some of his plays. On Saturday's it will come down to the players and how they go out there and execute."

You can listen to all ten of the Big 12 coaches on a recent Big 12 spring football teleconference here.

West Virginia's first Big 12 game will take place in Morgantown against Baylor on September 29.

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