Fearless Picks: WVU – Oklahoma
Will Grier’s injury wreaked havoc across the WVU football landscape, including in our picks. Matt was the only person to predict a Longhorn win, but whether that was out of a desperate attempt to make up ground or the sneaking suspicion that the Mountaineers couldn’t run the football at all is knowledge that only he has. Still, the end result is that he moved back to within one game of the lead, and owns the best overall total points number in the competition after missing the final score by a combined 11 points. We’ll see if you goes for the Hail Mary again this week, or waits for the bowl game.
Last Week: L Season Record: 10-1 Point Differential: 155
How much could a misdirected middle finger cost? Maybe millions in the case of WVU football. When Will Grier walked off the field against Texas I knew the game was over. I tried to remember the last time I felt that way. It was probably Jan. 2nd, 1989, when Major Harris separated his shoulder early in the Fiesta Bowl. I really thought if WVU was healthy the Mountaineers had a chance against the surging Sooners but with the loss of Grier my hopes are gone. Grier not only brings his talent to the table but he brings a swagger that his teammates feed upon. I’m sure head coach Dana Holgorsen will have backup QB Chris Chugunov ready to play, but he won’t have the confidence it will take to upend Oklahoma.
Last Week: L Season Record: 10-1 Point Differential: 198
The Mountaineers wind down the regular season in Norman, a week after being eliminated from having any chance at playing in the Big 12 title game. It was going to be a tough enough task to win this one, but without Will Grier it’s too much to overcome. The Mountaineers will play better than many think, but it won’t be enough.
Last Week: W Season Record: 9-2 Point Differential: 144
West Virginia’s struggles going into a road game at Oklahoma were evident prior to the injury to Will Grier. Now, that situation adds to the laundry list of offensive issues that include poor run blocking, an inability to build upon the ground game and a struggles with dropped passes and general consistency. The Sooners started as a 21 point favorite and the line immediately increased, and that seems to be about right on. The Mountaineers have a chance, but this looks to end as another middling 7-5 regular season.
Last Week: L Season Record: 9-2 Point Differential: 166
West Virginia is in a tough spot – starting a backup quarterback on the road against Oklahoma. While I expect the Mountaineers to try and establish a run game early, it’s likely not going to be enough.
Last Week: L Season Record: 8-3 Point Differential: 167
Oklahoma’s defense is its Achilles Heel, as the Sooners have allowed four opponents to score 35 or more points this year. But OU has still won three of those high-scoring affairs because its offense is among the best in the country, averaging 45.0 points a game. West Virginia’s own offense (40.2 ppg) is good enough to put up points on a porous OU D, even without Will Grier. The Mountaineer defense (20.9 ppg), however, figures to struggle to hold Baker Mayfield and friends in check.
Last Week: L Season Record: 8-3 Point Differential: 200
After last week’s home performance and the loss of its quarterback, I don’t see much fight left in West Virginia. Going into Oklahoma, even with Mayfield being “severely” reprimanded… even with OK’s bad defense… I don’t see how this game stays under a 21-point blowout. This is not the season that I expected, and not the one that fans wanted, but it’s what we have left. Oklahoma’s offense will march up and down the field at will and their total tally of TD’s will hinge on how long the first unit stays in the game.
Last Week: L Season Record: 7-4 Point Differential: 198
WVU head oach Dana Holgorsen says the initial reaction of the coaches and players to Will Grier’s finger injury was the same as the fans. “You can’t script it any worse. The human element was ‘Oh Crap’ for about a quarter.” So now that the “Oh Crap” phase is over, what now? Pull out all the stops, play like you have nothing to lose and try to pull the gargantuan upset as a 20-something point underdog. This might be sacrilegious to even contemplate, but is this not like the “Stranger t” upside down alternate universe version of 2007? The Mountaineers playing the part of spoilers (Pitt) & Oklahoma playing the role of heavily favored national championship contender (WVU)? I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit. The Mountaineers keep it respectable, but no epic upset here.