Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers – Baylor Bears
It was the worst week of the season for our panel, and not just because no one saw the offensive blackout against Iowa State. Score predictions were well off the mark, again mostly due to the lack of production by the WVU offense. Those differentials led to a shakeup in the standings, with Jon rising to the top and Jane moving into second place. Just like the Big 12, though, it’s still a wide open race for the season title.
Last week’s results have clearly made our group more cautious this week, although it’s still a sweep of the picks for the home team.
Last Week: L Season Record: 5-1 Point Differential: 84
To be honest I’m not sure if anyone knows how this game will turn out. Will there be resurgence after the meltdown against Iowa State or a continued lull into the Thursday night game against Baylor?
The Mountaineers still have plenty to play for. It’s just a matter of them realizing it. Returning home always helps heal the pain, and playing a down Baylor team could also work wonders.
West Virginia 31-24
Last Week: L Season Record: 5-1 Point Differential: 86
After the Iowa State debacle, I don’t know what to expect from WVU this week. I’m hoping they have picked themselves up off the floor, dusted their britches, and set their minds and hearts back on track. In order to avoid conjuring the ghosts of catastrophes past, I won’t make any comparisons with *cough cough* Geno *cough cough.* Hopefully Will Grier and company are made of sterner stuff and can put their butt kicking behind them and move forward. And no peeking over Baylor’s shoulder. Focus, focus, focus, one game at a time.
West Virginia 35-21
Last Week: L Season Record: 5-1 Point Differential: 88
Through its first five games, WVU was averaging 41.4 points per game on offense and allowing a Big 12-low 18.6 on defense. Baylor’s offense is putting up reasonable numbers (35.8 ppg), but its defense is surrendering 32.3 per game, which is the league’s worst mark. WVU’s offense can’t afford the turnovers it committed against Kansas, but if it just maintains its composure, West Virginia should put up numbers the Bears can’t match.
West Virginia 41-24
Last Week: L Season Record: 5-1 Point Differential: 96
So, I’m still not sure if Kansas and Iowa State figured some things out defensively which will continue to plague the Mountaineers against opponents the rest of the season. Or if the INTs against Kansas and the overall stink fest against the Cyclones were aberrations. Thursday night will reveal all! Baylor is a decent team, and they will score some points, but can the Bear’s defense shut down West Virginia? On the road, Thursday night lights, in the cold, in front of a raucous WVU crowd? I am an eternal optimist, so I think not.
West Virginia 41-27
Last Week: L Season Record: 5-1 Point Differential: 97
Hopefully a little extended time off is just what the Mountaineers needed to regroup and get back on track after two and a half games of subpar performance. Baylor comes to town Thursday night with an improved team under second-year coach Matt Rhule. The Bears have shown marked progress throughout the season, and won’t be a pushover by any means. That being said, West Virginia should take care of business at home against Baylor, heading into the November gauntlet portion of the schedule with a win. Here’s hoping that Thursday night at Mountaineer Field is as rabid an atmosphere as it was when I was in school. Midweek home games are always fun!
West Virginia 42-27
Last Week: L Season Record: 5-1 Point Differential: 99
Hopefully this team can pull things back together after a very disappointing performance in its last game against Iowa State, but recently history doesn’t seem to be on the Mountaineers side after dropping mid-season games.
Baylor is a team that always plays WVU tough. Consider that the last two match-ups have been decided by a combined total of five points, with WVU pretty heavily favored in both games. This Thursday night WVU is a two-touchdown favorite, and I look for them to find some of that Mountaineer magic and pick up win number six, but I’m betting this will turn into a much close game than the Gold & Blue faithful will like.
West Virginia 31-28
Last Week: L Season Record: 5-1 Point Differential: 108
Time has come for this team to show who they really are. After a month of head-scratching offensive production that’s left the defense on the field entirely too much, which has really started to take a toll, it’s time to buckle down and dish out some pure, physical West Virginia football — because it doesn’t get any easier from here on out.
West Virginia 37-27
Last Week: L Season Record: 4-2 Point Differential: 96
Both Baylor and West Virginia look to get back on track after losses two weeks ago against Texas and Iowa State, respectively. Baylor is actually putting up better numbers on offense than the Mountaineers in some categories this season. The Bears are ranked 18th by the NCAA is total offense while WVU has dropped to 24th after their head-scratching performance against the Cyclones.
The Mountaineers are favored by a couple of touchdowns but this prognosticator thinks WVU will be in a battle to the final whistle.
West Virginia 38-34