Football, Sports, WVU Sports

Big 12 schedule: WVU will play all 4 newcomers in 2023

The Big 12’s first schedule as a 14-team conference was released Tuesday and WVU will play all four conference newcomers in their first year.

The Mountaineers will play road games at Houston (Oct. 12) and Central Florida (Oct. 28) and host BYU (Nov. 4) and Cincinnati (Nov. 18) at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Oct. 12 matchup with the Cougars is WVU’s only Thursday game on the schedule, after playing three such games in 2022. That game will also reunite WVU with former head coach Dana Holgorsen, who is entering his fifth year leading Houston after spending the previous eight seasons in Morgantown.

BYU has never played a game at Milan Puskar Stadium and Cincinnati will return to Morgantown for the first time since 2010. The only other team that will play all four newcomers is Oklahoma State. TCU and Texas will play just two newcomers each, while every other Big 12 team will play three of the four.

“I would like to thank our fans for their patience awaiting this historic schedule,” Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said in a statement. “Given its importance, the complexities of weaving in four new schools, adding a third time zone and ensuring alignment with key stakeholders, we were very deliberate with its development.  I look forward to another highly competitive season of Big 12 football, and to welcoming our new members and their fans into the league.”

Despite the move to 14 teams, the Big 12 will continue to play nine league games without divisions. The two teams with the highest winning percentage will qualify for the conference championship game, as usual.

WVU’s non-conference schedule includes previously announced games at Penn State (Sept. 2), vs. Duquesne (Sept. 9) and Pitt (Sept. 16) for the first Backyard Brawl in Morgantown since 2011. The season-opener against Penn State will renew the third-longest series in school history. It will be the 60th meeting between the two one-time rivals and the first game in the series since 1992. It will be the Mountaineers’ first trip to State College since 1991.

“I am looking forward to my first football season at West Virginia and excited to be a part of the “Backyard Brawl,” which is one of the greatest rivalries in college football,” first-year WVU athletic director Wren Baker said in a release. “The Big 12 welcomes four new members into the league, which makes this a special season. My family and I are certainly looking forward to Gold and Blue football Saturdays in Morgantown.”

The rest of WVU’s Big 12 schedule includes home games against Texas Tech (Sept. 23) and Oklahoma State (Oct. 21) with road games at TCU (Sept. 30), Oklahoma (Nov. 11) and Baylor (Nov. 25). Homecoming is scheduled for the Oct. 21 home game against Oklahoma State. Mountaineer Week will be celebrated during the Nov. 4 game against BYU. 

“Our players know what kind of schedule we play year in and year out, and they are preparing for the grind that it takes. The Big 12 is so strong and competitive. Every league game brings a new challenge each week and this year will be no different,” WVU coach Neal Brown said in a statement. “For the third-straight year, we will open with a Power 5 opponent on the road, and we have a lot of work still ahead of us in our winter conditioning, spring practices and summer camp. The season will be here before you know it and our focus will be on getting better every day in preparation for one of the strongest football schedules in the country.”

With the addition of four new teams, the Big 12 will no longer have a full round-robin conference schedule. For the first time since joining the conference, WVU will not play Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas or Texas this season.

The Big 12 Football Championship game will be played Saturday, Dec. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

All-time Records

— WVU is 9-48-2 all-time against Penn State. The Nittany Lions have won four straight over the Mountaineers. The last WVU victory was a 51-30 win in Morgantown in 1988. WVU’s last win in State College came in 1954 with a 19-14 final score.

— The Mountaineers are 4-3-1 all-time against Duquesne. The most-recent game in the series was a 19-0 Duquesne win in 1935. The teams played four times in Morgantown and four times at historic Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.

— WVU is 40-62-3 all-time against its biggest rival, Pitt. Prior to last season’s 38-31 Panther win in Pittsburgh, the teams had not played since the Big East dissolved in 2011. WVU had won three straight in the series before last season. Pitt last played in Morgantown in 2011, a 21-20 WVU win. Pitt’s last win at Mountaineer Field was the infamous 13-9 victory in 2007. Pitt is 19-17-3 all-time in Morgantown.

— WVU has never played Houston. Holgorsen is 27-20 in four seasons as the Cougars’ head coach.

— The Mountaineers have won both of their previous matchups against UCF, 36-18 in 2003 and 42-20 in 2004.

— WVU defeated BYU 35-32 in the teams’ lone meeting in 2016. The neutral site game was played at FedEx Field in Maryland.

— WVU is 16-3-1 all-time against Cincinnati, winning the last two matchups in 2010 and 2011. The Bearcats have not played in Morgantown since 2010, a 37-10 loss. The teams played every year from 2002-11 and before that, every year from 1980-90.


Saturday, Sept. 2: at Penn State

Saturday, Sept. 9: vs. Duquesne

Saturday, Sept. 16: vs. Pitt

Saturday, Sept. 23: vs. Texas Tech

Saturday, Sept. 30: at TCU

Saturday, Oct. 7: OPEN

Thursday, Oct. 12: at Houston

Saturday, Oct. 21: vs. Oklahoma State (Homecoming)

Saturday, Oct. 28: at UCF

Saturday, Nov. 4: vs. BYU (Mountaineer Week)

Saturday, Nov. 11: at Oklahoma

Saturday, Nov. 18: vs. Cincinnati

Saturday, Nov. 25: at Baylor

Saturday, Dec. 2: Big 12 Championship

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