MORGANTOWN — Clad in gold and blue, Mountaineer fans swarmed the University City on Saturday for the 2018 home-opener against the Youngstown State Penguins.
Villages of pop-up tents, barbecues, cold beers and RVs filled parking lots from the Coliseum to the Stadium and beyond as fans tailgated and got ready to cheer on the Mountaineers later in the evening.
Ryan Thompson, a WVU junior, spent the mild Saturday morning with his friends and family. Other tailgaters tossed footballs and played corn hole in a sea of gold and blue that covered the parking lot by the Health Sciences Campus in Evansdale.
“First game, junior year. Year of the Grier,” Thompson said, referring to WVU quarterback Will Grier.
He said the best part about going to home games at Milan Puskar Stadium is the environment. Thompson is from Maryland, and said for the most part everyone in his family are Mountaineers fans.
Clarence Wilson has been coming to WVU home games since 1993. Though not a WVU alumnus, he is originally from Gauley Bridge.
Wilson was looking forward to the game, but said he was more excited for the Mountaineers to face the Oklahoma Sooners, which is the final game of the season Nov. 23.
Wilson said he and his wife are season ticket-holders.
“Seeing all the friends I’ve made over the years from different places, our tailgate party used to be huge. It’s down to maybe two originals from 25 or something like that,” he said.
Once tailgating closed up, Wilson was headed to Section 203.
“We’ve bounced around a little bit, but we’ve probably been there 15 years,” he said.
And, although he thought it was hard to get excited about Youngstown State, he was happy to be back in Mountaineer Country.
“It’s just good to be back,” he said.