MORGANTOWN - There will be one group of athletes at Darrell K. Royal-Memorial Stadium that will be playing with a chip on their shoulders when No. 8 WVU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) takes on No. 11 Texas (4-0, 1-0 Big 12).
And, they will be wearing the old gold and blue colors and playing defense.
"Oh, yeah," junior linebacker Doug Rigg said. "But, I think it's a good thing that people think we are bad and overlooking us."
It's not hard to understand why Rigg and his defensive mates are taking on the role of the underdogs when they line up to play against a Texas offense that features a trio of talented running backs and a quarterback that has improved with every snap he has taken in 2012.
West Virginia is coming off of a 70-63 win over then-No. 25 Baylor where the offense rolled up an amazing 807 yards of total offense, but the prevent unit surrendered an embarrassing 700 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown pass as time expired in the first half.
"People are doubting us," continued Rigg. "And, rightfully so because we did give up so many points."
No. 8 West Virginia (4-0, 1-0)
at No. 11 Texas (4-0, 1-0)
Game time: 7 p.m., (FOX)
Line: Texas by 6 .
Series: WVU leads 1-0.
But, as bad as things have gotten for the unit since that historic day at Mountaineer Field, the more it has developed an attitude to prove its detractors wrong.
"Right now, it is an 'us against the world' attitude," explained the linebacker. "It has really brought us closer together and it has made us more determined to make sure that we don't do that again."
The task ahead, however, is a daunting one.
Lying in wait for Rigg and his teammates is a Longhorn offense that is averaging 47.2 points and 495.8 yards per game - 228 of those coming on the ground.
Leading the unit is Joe Bergeron with 255 yards and five scores on only 52 carries while Malcolm Brown is close behind with 245 yards and a trio of touchdowns on 40 totes of the pigskin. Rounding out the trio is Johnathan Gray and his 157 yards on 33 attempts.
Not exactly numbers that instill fear in the heart of defenses, but ones that become relevant when the majority of them have come at opportune times, like keeping drives alive and keeping opposing offenses off of the field.
"They (the Texas running backs) run hard. They don't shy away from contact. In fact, they look to run over you and break tackles when they have the football."
And, if the group is able to continue that trait on Saturday, then it could be the one thing that keeps record-setting quarterback Geno Smith and his offense off of the field.
"The biggest area where we need to improve is getting off of the field on third downs," said Rigg. "We do some good things, but we have to become more consistent."
* WVU's first road game in the Big 12 will be televised by Fox with Gus Johnson doing the play-by-play, Charles Davis the analyis and Julie Alexandria roaming the sidelines.
* This marks the second meeting between WVU and Texas. The Mountaineers lead the series 1-0 after winning 7-6 in Austin, Texas, in 1956.
* Geno Smith is No. 1 nationally in points responsible for (31.5), passing efficiency (208.37), total offense (456.8) and passing yards per game (432.0) and No. 2 in completions per game (35.25).
* Tavon Austin is No. 1 nationally in receptions per game (12.0) and No. 3 in receiving yards per game (140.0) and all purpose yardage (204.75) per game.
* Stedman Bailey is No. 1 nationally in scoring (15.0), No. 2 in receptions per game (10.25), and receiving yards per game (158.75) and No. 12 in all-purpose yards (172.0) per game.
* WVU is 10-4 against schools which are members of the Big 12 Conference.