MORGANTOWN - West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen and Baylor University football coach Art Briles both coached together on the same staff at Texas Tech, so the two are familiar with each other.
Holgorsen worked with the receivers, while Briles tutored the running backs. Briles later went on to become the head coach at Houston, but left the year before Holgorsen came there to be the offensive coordinator.
So both coaches will have insight into each other when Baylor and West Virginia meet at noon Saturday in Morgantown for the first time in history. But Holgorsen cautioned that too much should not be read into the situation.
"There's not secrets about what our game plan is going to be," Holgorsen said. "They have the same amount of film on us as we do on Baylor. They are a very balanced attack. They are going to run the ball 50 percent of the time, and then they are going to take shots down field. If you are successful one out of three times, that is pretty good."
Baylor, 3-0 and ranked 25th, is led by quarterback Nick Florence, a senior who is finally getting his chance on the field after playing behind Heisman Trophy winner and NFL first-round pick Robert Griffin III for the past three years. Despite being a backup, Florence is already earned a spot on the Watch List of the Unitas Golden Arm Award. Florence has already thrown for 1,004 yards and 11 touchdowns through the Bears' first three games. He has also tossed three interceptions.
"He's a good player and a program player," Holgorsen said. "Is he as talented as some of the other guys out there? He's not as talented, but he is a winner and runs the ball well. He understands his system, he gets them in the right play, and he does a good job at completing (passes). He takes some chances, and hopefully, he takes a few too many that we can capitalize on."
WVU's debut into the Big 12 Conference will also be the school's Homecoming game. But the game will also hold a special significance to both coaching staffs. Sept. 29 also has been designated as the "Coach to Cure MD" game, and members of the American Football Coaches Association will be wearing special patches on their shirts Saturday to support and urge fans to support research projects being done across the nation. The organization has raised over $1 million for muscular dystrophy research in the past four years.
"It's going to make this weekend even better than it's going to be," Holgorsen said.