MORGANTOWN-No. 9 West Virginia University (1-0) will face its first ranked opponent-albeit against a member of the FCS-at 4:30 p.m. Saturday when the Mountaineers travel to Landover, Md., to take on No. 5 (FCS) James Madison University (2-0)
"They're a sound, a good ball club," Holgorsen said during Monday's Big 12 teleconference. "Mickey Matthews has been there for a long time, going on 14 years now and has built one of the top I-AA programs in the country.
"They're sound on all three sides of the ball. Their schemes have been the same thing they've done for a long time. The kids believe in what they're doing."
The two teams have met once before with WVU cruising to a 45-10 victory at Milan Puskar Stadium in 2004.
"The thing that stands out more that anything is the effort they play with," continued Holgorsen. "They play with a tremendous amount of effort. Their schemes are sound. They have as good of players at that level as probably anybody that exists there.
"It will definitely be a challenge for us."
West Virginia is coming off of an early bye week while the Dukes pounded Alcorn State by a 42-3 score last Saturday. Redshirt junior running back Dae'Quan Scott and redshirt senior quarterback Justin Thorpe turned in dominant first half performances as JMU grabbed a 28-0 lead at the intermission.
The duo combined for 226 rushing yards in the first half, becoming the first JMU teammates to tally for more than 100 yards in a game for the first time since 2010. They each reached the mark in the first 30 minutes of action.
Thorpe finished with 101 yards rushing and was 14-of-18 in the air for 140 yards. JMU has beaten its first two opponents by a combined 97-10 margin.
"We're anticipating this being a bigger challenge that what we faced a week ago," said the Mountaineers' head coach.
WVU racked up 69 points en route to a season-opening 69-34 rout of Marshall. Senior quarterback Geno Smith completed 32-of-36 attempts for 323 yards and four touchdowns and rushed eight times for 65 yards and one score as the Mountaineers remained unbeaten (12-0) against the Thundering Herd.
The contest, which was originally slated to be played at Mountaineer Field, was moved to FedEx Field (home of the NFL's Washington Redskins) as a means to showcase the program to potential recruits living in the talent-rich area.
"Next year, we are playing Maryland at the Ravens' stadium. We have a game with BYU in, I think 2015, that's over there. So, it's something that's important administratively. It's important to Oliver (Luck) and important to Dr. (James) Clements that we have a presence in that area."