MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–The lights, a stadium packed full of raucous Mountaineers, the cameras, the adrenaline rushing through your veins.
Nothing compares to a night game at Milan Puskar Stadium and on Saturday night the West Virginia Mountaineers will kick off the football season under the lights against Georgia Southern.
It’s going to be awesome,” wide receiver Daikiel Shorts said. “I know that the atmosphere is going to be great.”
“It’s all I think about every day,” said Kyle Rose. “Just trying to get to that first game and play in front of 65,000 people in a crazy atmosphere, 7:30 at night.”
There is something about playing under the lights in Morgantown that is like no other. The atmosphere is like nothing else.
“Just being under the lights at night, the fans, and just the anticipation (make night games so much more exciting),” Shorts said.
Night games have produced some of the largest crowds. The LSU game in 2011 brought 62,056 screaming fans out
“Night games in Morgantown are crazy,” Jarrod Harper said. “So we are definitely looking forward to that. The atmosphere is going to be wild. It’s going to be electrifying the stadium.”
Night games aren’t just appealing to the players but the fans love them. Whether it is tailgating for hours in the parking lots or just something about feeling the lights shine down, fans get fired up for primetime.
“Hanging out all day with friends, the pride we have in our team and state, the beauty of Motown, just everything,” said Richard Clay.
“I loved attending night games when my dad had season tickets because night games were rare,” Renee Barker said. “The lights shined so bright that it made the stadium look amazing. The best was a Thanksgiving night game.”
“Night games are magical in Morgantown, Joseph Fox said. “All day tailgating in the blue lot, fans are ready to see the flagship university take the field. We love our football.”
For some people, it isn’t necessarily the time of the game they love, but the rivalries that make it fun when the sun goes down.
“I don’t like night games, especially on weeknights,” Jodie Gardill said. “The only exception were the Thanksgiving SPitt (Pittsburgh Panthers) games – those were always a good time. The traditional rivalry was what made it good.”
No matter what the reasoning, one thing is for certain. When the Mountaineers take on Georgia Southern, Morgantown will be rocking. The tailgates will be fired up and the atmosphere will be electric.