WVU Has Had Other Games Postponed, Cancelled
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–The situation West Virginia’s football team faced last week in postponing or cancelling its game at N.C. State was admittedly unusual for the Mountaineers, but not unprecedented.
Weather or historical national tragedies had caused three WVU football games to be postponed in the past 60 years, though all three were eventually played later that same season. You have to go back even further to find West Virginia football games that were outright cancelled, though that has happened as well.
The most recent postponement came in 2005. The Mountaineers got off to 6-1 start that season with their only blemish coming in a 20-15 loss to Virginia Tech, but WVU had bounced back a couple weeks later with an incredible 46-44 triple overtime victory over Louisville. After the emotional win against the Cardinals, West Virginia was slated to play at South Florida the following Saturday (Oct. 22). But on Wednesday, Oct. 19, WVU’s trip to Tampa was put on hold, as Hurricane Wilma was bearing down on the region. Instead, the game was moved to Dec. 3 at the end of the regular season, and the Mountaineers, behind Pat White (177 rushing yards), improved to 10-1 with a 28-13 win over USF. That earned WVU a trip to the Sugar Bowl against Georgia, which ultimately would be moved out of New Orleans because of another hurricane, Katrina.
In 2001, West Virginia was originally supposed to play at Maryland on Sept. 15, but the terrorist attacks on 9/11 caused much of the nation, and most sporting events, to pause. The Mountaineers and Terps each had a corresponding open dates two weeks later, so WVU went to Byrd Stadium on Sept. 29 where it fell to Maryland, 32-20.
In 1963 another national tragedy caused the postponement of a West Virginia football game. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Friday, Nov. 22. WVU’s regular season finale was slated for the next day against Furman at old Mountaineer Field. Like most college football teams, the Mountaineers and Paladins did not play on Nov. 23. Instead the game was pushed back until Thursday, Nov. 28, where West Virginia took a 38-7 victory.
In 1954, WVU, coming off a Sugar Bowl berth the year before, had 10 regular season games slated with the opener to come on Sept. 25 against Washington & Lee in Morgantown. But W&L, which was a regular rival of the Mountaineers, having played 37 times, pulled the plug on its football program late in the summer. WVU was not able to find a replacement, and thus played only nine regular season games that year, going 8-1, and it didn’t start the season until Oct. 2 with a 26-6 romp over South Carolina in Columbia.
In 1918, a world-wide influenza pandemic caused many public events to be cancelled in a futile attempt to keep the Spanish flu from spreading. West Virginia would cancel its entire season, and many other college teams around the nation followed suit or played an abbreviated schedule.
In 1910, a WVU’s captain, Rudolph Munk, died as the result of a blow in a game played in Wheeling on Nov. 12 against Bethany College. West Virginia had three more games scheduled that season against West Virginia Wesleyan, Dickinson (Pa.) College and Washington & Jefferson, but those final three games were cancelled after Munk’s death.