Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers – Oklahoma Sooners
The predicted scores were really good. Unfortunately, the pick of the winner was not.
That was the story last week, as seven of the eight panelists were within 14 of the final score of the WVU – Oklahoma State game. That led to some serious shuffling in the standings, with Bill taking over the top spot and only ten points separating the top five.
This week, it looks to be the same situation, even though this is the sort of situation where West Virginia sometimes comes up with a mighty effort as an underdog.
Last Week: L Season Record: 8-2 Point Differential: 175
WVU still has a chance right in front of it to make the Big 12 Championship game. Win, and face Texas for the title. It’s that simple.
This will be a shootout. There is zero doubt about that. But honestly, does WVU have the ability to even stop Oklahoma, much less the ability to score a TD every time they have the ball? They couldn’t do it against an Oklahoma State team with a statistically worse defense than what the Sooners will trot out on the field. The linebacker injuries for the Mountaineers are really starting to take their toll.
While there is still a lot to play for, last week’s loss hurts in a way that only a diehard Mountaineer fan can appreciate. But we move on to the final regular season game of the year against Oklahom, which has had WVU’s number in Big 12 play. While I’d love to see the good guys go out with a win this Friday, I don’t see it happening. The added dimension of Kyler Murray’s run game will be that difference maker and will keep the Mountaineer defense on the field far too long.
Last Week: L Season Record: 8-2 Point Differential: 180
Last Week: L Season Record: 8-2 Point Differential: 181
Despite the huge disappointment in Stillwater last weekend, WVU is (incredibly) still in play for the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington. What do the Mountaineers have to do? Oh, not much. Just beat the sixth-rated team in the country — the one that has owned them since they joined the league back in 2012. Can WVU score? Yes. But, Will Grier and David Sills have looked very pedestrian at times this year. Which ones will show up? As for OU, there really isn’t much to say about the Sooners offense. It seemingly scores at will. Last week, they came out completely disinterested in playing Kansas, yet sleepwalked to a 55-40 victory. But this weekend, there’s a little more to play for in Morgantown. Unfortunately, I look for a fired up Sooners team to come out and lay a whooping on the Mountaineers.
Last Week: L Season Record: 8-2 Point Differential: 183
Senior Night. Black Friday. National TV. Big name opponent. There’s a lot to be excited about this Friday in Morgantown when WVU and Oklahoma square off. A win gives the Mountaineers a chance to play for the Big 12 title. A loss means a step down in the bowl pecking order. Two Heisman candidate QBs will be all the talk before this one, but really it’s going to be about which defense plays better. The Mountaineers have had their moments this season where they look dominant defensively. And then they have their moments when they look…well, the complete opposite of dominant. Mobile QBs have given this unit some trouble this year, and Kyler Murray is not only the best running QB they’ve seen but also the best passing QB. In short, he’s a game changer. West Virginia’s Big 12 drought against Oklahoma continues.
Last Week: L Season Record: 8-2 Point Differential: 185
This team is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Just when you think they are ready for the big time, they lay an egg on national television. This is an extraordinarily gifted group of men who are capable of great things, but for some reason, they just can’t seem to sustain those great things. Guys, please! You can accomplish a lot more than you showed in the second half against Okie State and you still have a lot to play for. Please do. It will be in Morgantown, at night, where the magic sometimes happens, but I can hear the excuses already. It’s Thanksgiving weekend, so the students will be mostly away, blah, blah, blah, blah. It is extremely uncharacteristic for me to pick against the Mountaineers, but I think I have to this time. I hope I’m wrong.
Last Week: L Season Record: 7-3 Point Differential: 174
In a clash of two of the nation’s best offenses (OU is No. 3 in scoring at 49.1 ppg, and WVU is 14th at 40.1), this very well may be a game where a defensive play is the difference maker. If that’s the case, the Mountaineers have a good chance, because their defense has generally been better than OU’s this year. But if this comes down to pure offensive shootout, it’s hard to beat the Sooners.
Last Week: L Season Record: 7-3 Point Differential: 182
Truth is I wasn’t sure West Virginia could beat Oklahoma before last week’s collapse at Oklahoma State. I even feel less confident now. The Sooner offense is way too potent and the Mountaineers are looking for answers on both sides of the ball.
Last Week: L Season Record: 6-4 Point Differential: 176
For the Mountaineers, playing for a title shot and playing Oklahoma is a bad combination. Let’s face it, beating Oklahoma and winning big games hasn’t been something that WVU has made a habit of doing under head coach Dana Holgorsen. The Sooners have absolutely dominated the Mountaineers since the Blue and Gold joined the Big 12 in 2012. WVU is 0-6 over that span, falling by an average score of 28-45.
WVU will not be able to stop Kyler Murray and the Sooner offense while the Mountaineer offense will have a few head scratching three-and-outs. The Mountaineers will end the regular season 8-3, with a trip to the Alamo Bowl against the Washington Huskies.