|1981 West Virginia Mountaineers football|
Peach Bowl Champions
|Head coach||Don Nehlen|
|Home stadium||Mountaineer Field|
|1981 Division I-A independents football records|
|No. 3 Penn State||–||–||10||–||2||–||0|
|No. 4 Pittsburgh||–||–||11||–||1||–||0|
|No. 8 Miami||–||–||9||–||2||–||0|
|No. 17 West Virginia||–||–||9||–||3||–||0|
|William & Mary||–||–||5||–||6||–||0|
|North Texas State||–||–||2||–||9||–||0|
|Rankings from AP Poll|
The 1981 West Virginia Mountaineers football team represented West Virginia University in the 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the Mountaineers' 89th overall season and they competed as a Division I-A Independent. The team was led by head coach Don Nehlen, in his 2nd year, and played their home games at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. They finished the season with a record of nine wins and three losses (9–3 overall) and with a victory over Florida in the Peach Bowl.
|September 12||at Virginia||Scott Stadium • Charlottesville, VA||W 32–18||34,007|
|September 19||at Maryland||Byrd Stadium • College Park, MD (Rivalry)||W 17–13||38,300|
|September 26||Colorado State||Mountaineer Field • Morgantown, WV||W 49–3||48,716|
|October 3||at Boston College||Alumni Stadium • Chestnut Hill, MA||W 38–10||23,500|
|October 10||1:00 PM||#4 Pittsburgh||Mountaineer Field • Morgantown, WV (Backyard Brawl)||L 0–17||54,280|
|October 17||Virginia Tech||Mountaineer Field • Morgantown, WV (Black Diamond Trophy)||W 27–6||49,115|
|October 24||at #1 Penn State||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA (Rivalry)||L 7–30||85,012|
|October 31||East Carolina||Mountaineer Field • Morgantown, WV||W 20–3||41,364|
|November 7||Temple||Mountaineer Field • Morgantown, WV||W 24–19||40,342|
|November 14||Rutgers||Mountaineer Field • Morgantown, WV||W 20–3||44,395|
|November 21||at Syracuse||Carrier Dome • Syracuse, NY (Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy)||ABC||L 24–27||33,117|
|December 31||vs. Florida||Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium • Atlanta, GA (Peach Bowl)||CBS||W 26–6||37,582|
|*Non-Conference Game. †Homecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.|
Oliver Luck was the starting quarterback for the Mountaineers. He led the team with 2448 passing yards and 16 touchdowns. Leading the team in rushing was Curlin Beck with 537 net yards. Rich Hollins led the team in receiving with 37 receptions for 764 yards.
The first game pitted the Mountaineers against the Virginia Cavaliers. The Mountaineers won the opener 32–18 in Charlottesville. WVU then traveled to College Park, where they took on the Maryland Terrapins. WVU held on for a 17–13 road victory.
Their home opener was against Colorado State, who they thrashed 49–3. They then traveled to Boston College, where they won 38–10. Their first loss of the season came at the hands of archrival Pitt 17–0 at home. They rebounded with a resounding 27–6 win over Virginia Tech. They played at Penn State, but lost 7–30, to the number 1 team in the nation.
- "WVU 1981 Schedule". The West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. http://wvustats.com/football/schedule.php?team_id=308&season=1981. Retrieved June 23, 2012.