Fearless Picks: WVU – Oklahoma State
Chris’ closest pick of the season, just a two-point differential in the WVU – Baylor final score, narrowed the gap between he and top dog Andy Easton who missed by just 12. In all, it was another outstanding week for our panel, which featured close selections by Matt (9) and Greg (13). We can’t recall a competition this late in the season where none of our panelists had more than one loss.
Last Week: W Season Record: 7-0 Point Differential: 92
After seven games into the season you are what you are and WVU is just a bad defensive football team. Blame it on injuries, penalties or bad officiating if you want but the Mountaineers rank 91st in pass defense, 99th in rush defense and 111th in total defense. I cant imagine how well Will Grier would do playing against the Blue and Gold defense. Four hundred fifty yards and five touchdowns? What if I told you Grier and Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph basically have the same stats going into Saturdays’s showdown in Morgantown? If you think Pennywise is scary you may not want to watch when the Cowboy offense takes the field. WVU should be able to keep it within two TD’s with its potent offense but the defense will struggle to keep OSU under 45 points.
Oklahoma State 45-31
Last Week: W Season Record: 7-0 Point Differential: 117
This one should be fun to watch. Two of the best offenses in college football, led by two of the best quarterbacks. Both teams need a win to stay competitive for a berth in the Big 12 title game at season’s end. OSU is better running the football, and stopping the run than WVU is right now. That’s where this game will be won – in the trenches.
Oklahoma State 35-27
Last Week: W Season Record: 6-1 Point Differential: 90
In a battle of top five offenses, its the defense which will decide it. With the Mountaineers using just two corners last game, having issues in coverage at times and wearing down with a lack of numbers, No. 11 Oklahoma State swaggers in with a multiple, quick-strike offense. Over 50 plays, WVU might be able to hold up. It’s unlikely it can for 80. OSU takes advantage late for a third straight series win.
Oklahoma State 41-34
Last Week: W Season Record: 6-1 Point Differential: 104
West Virginia faces a tough task this weekend against Oklahoma State – a game that could keep the Mountaineers squarely in the Big 12 title race. It’s not going to be easy, though. The Cowboys possess one of the most potent offenses in the country while touting an improved defense. Despite the best efforts of Will Grier and the Mountaineer offense I’m not sure if defensively, WVU has enough firepower. It’ll be close for a while before Okie State pulls away.
Oklahoma State 37 – 28
Last Week: W Season Record: 6-1 Point Differential: 107
The ultimate question is whether WVU’s young defense can slow down a outstanding Oklahoma State offense that leads the nation in yards (610.7) and is second in points (48.8). WVU’s offense has shown plenty of fire power of its own (547.2 total yards and 44.2 points), but it will likely have to be white hot to keep up with the Pokes. WVU probably needs to reach 50 to win, and that’s tough.
Oklahoma State 46-42
Last Week: W Season Record: 6-1 Point Differential: 115
After one of the most nail-biting and hair-pulling fourth quarters I have ever endured with the Mountaineers, I’m left even more concerned about the defense. Thankfully they were able dig deep and find a few plays that were enough to hold on a victory in Waco last Saturday evening. Will Grier has been playing lights out and there seems to be no signs of him slowing down. If the receivers can hold onto a few more balls and the Mountaineer running game can get back on track, this has all of the makings of a close game in Morgantown. The Mountaineers are undefeated at home this season but Oklahoma State is undefeated on the road.. and despite another noon kick-off, I see the Mountaineers squeaking out win number six and pulling ahead of the Cowboys in the league. The other nail-biting/hair-pulling fourth quarter I was thinking about? 31-31 in 1989, which ended much worse than last week’s game.
West Virginia 42-38
Last Week: W Season Record: 6-1 Point Differential: 117
Everyone is billing this game as Mason Rudolph vs. Will Grier, envisioning touchdown passes raining down like manna from heaven. True, looking purely at the stats, one could make an argument for that to be likely. Oklahoma State is #1 in total offense in FBS (1st in passing/41st in rushing) and West Virginia is #5 (4th in passing/53rd in rushing). Oklahoma State has the edge in defense, WVU allowing about 100 yards and seven points more per game than the Cowpokes. WVU is +1 in turnovers on the season, while OSU is even. Penalty yards are pretty much a wash with OSU averaging 46 yards of penalties per game and the Mountaineers with 70 yards. But I think we all know stats are not reality. Games hardly ever stick to the script that statistics would lead you to write. So what is my gut telling me? Running QBs give WVU fits. But that is not OSU. Rudolph is the epitome of a pocket passer. So too is Will Grier, but he is a lot more mobile than Rudolph. I think at the end of the day, Gibby dials up enough pressure to make Rudolph uncomfortable. Conversely, Grier is able to elude some of the same pressure applied by the Cowboys and the Mountaineers avoid costly TOs and undisciplined play. OSU misses a last second field goal and the Mountaineers squeak one out.
West Virginia 34-31