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Sep. 15—MORGANTOWN — The last time Virginia Tech came to Milan Puskar Stadium, most of the current WVU roster was either learning how to add 2 +2 in elementary school, or in some cases, still being potty trained.
It's been 16 years since the Hokies (2-0) and Mountaineers (1-1) last met on Mountaineer Field, and since, have only met one other time—the first game of the 2017 season at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
With conference realignment continually shaking up geographic rivalries across college football, the Battle for the Black Diamond Trophy was left in the mid-2000s when the No. 15 Hokies left the Big East for the ACC. With that, much of the history of the rivalry is lost with the current rosters at both programs.
Even WVU head coach Neal Brown said he had to read up and learn about it on his own since he hasn't been involved with it before. He was just a few years removed from college in 2005.
None of WVU's assistants have been involved, either.
But one member of the staff has been through his fair share of games against the Hokies in defensive analyst Jeff Casteel.
Jeff Casteel is on our staff. He's been educating myself and we've been talking about it in staff meetings, " Brown said. "We talked about it in depth [Monday ] with our staff. He's going to talk about it with our team [Tuesday ]. For me, personally, it's been very interesting to learn about it. Coach Casteel has been a really good point of contact for me as far as just learning about just the emotions of going into the game."
Casteel was the defensive coordinator for the Mountaineers under then-head coach Rich Rodriguez when they played VT from 2001-05. Casteel saw the highs and lows, from losing 35-0 in 2001 and 19-13 as the No. 6 team in the country in 2004, to beating No. 3 VT at Milan Puskar Stadium in 2003 and upsetting the Hokies in Blacksburg in 2002.
From those inside the Puskar Center, Saturday's game may not mean more than an out-of-conference game against a top-15 opponent, but Brown knows what it means to those on the outside, with an expected sellout crowd to be on-hand.
"I know our fan base is excited about this game, " he said. "Our players, we're educating them this week about the rivalry. From a fan-base standpoint, the rivalry sticks out more than the players, just because it hasn't been played on an annual basis since the early 2000s."
"It's a trophy game. We're playing for the Black Diamond Trophy. I think any time you play one of those games, it matters. By my calculation, Virginia Tech has had possession of the Black Diamond Trophy for over 6, 000 days now. That's a long time."
The Hokies have won seven of the last 10 meetings, including the last three. The last time the Mountaineers had the Black Diamond Trophy was following the big upset in 2003.
O'Laughlin update WVU has made it through the first two games relatively healthy, as the only questionable contributor heading into this weekend is tight end Mike O'Laughlin, who's missed the first two games with a lower leg injury.
Brown said O'Laughlin is now doing on-field activities, but his status for Saturday is still in doubt.
"That's the hope, " Brown said on O'Laughlin playing against VT. "He did some things [Monday ] and he's going to practice [Tuesday ], so we'll see where that goes."
Anderson enrolled After weeks of speculation and issues with the NCAA Clearinghouse, running back Jaylen Anderson is enrolled and with the football program, an athletic department source confirmed Tuesday.
Anderson was a 4-star prospect from Perry, Ohio, with Power 5 offers from several schools, including Florida, Pitt, Maryland, Iowa, Iowa State, Penn State, Missouri and Michigan State.
Already two games into the season, Anderson will likely redshirt but can still play in four games under the current rules.