West Virginia will look to continue their two-game winning streak when they head to Sooner Country for a matchup against the #4 ranked Oklahoma Sooners and Spencer Rattler.
After losing their first game of the season versus the Maryland Terrapins, the Mountaineers have a ton of momentum on their side after a decisive win versus a non-FBS opponent in Long Island, and then an even bigger win versus #15 ranked Virginia Tech last week by a score of 27-21.
After three games on the season, Oklahoma is undefeated as expected, but they had a few scares to start the season, especially in their opener against Tulane. They have weathered a few of those fears through solid wins in their last two games, with last week’s victory coming against Nebraska by a score of 23-16.
Oklahoma routed West Virginia last October to the tune of a 52-14 victory, but I have a feeling that this Saturday matchup scheduled for 7:30 will go much differently.
West Virginia Outlook
After a huge win versus Virginia Tech last week, the Mountaineers received a few votes to make their way into the Top 25 in the country but were left just outside, but a solid performance this week could settle them in the Top 25, and a win would definitely secure them a spot.
QB Jarret Doege has been very solid in his last two games after struggling in the opener. The senior QB has tossed five touchdowns with no picks in his last two games and has an impressive 729 passing yards on the season.
Running back, Leddie Brown was key in last week’s victory against VT, accumulating 161 rushing yards against a solid defense. The senior RB is one of the best in the Big-12 conference and has 265 yards on the year.
All of these weapons have stepped up in a big way to improve an offense that was very mediocre last year.
Defensively is where the Mountaineers strive, and it showed last week. They are allowing an average of 17 points per game to their opponents, and they were able to limit VT to only 329 total yards last week.
While the Sooners have won all three games in their non-conference schedule, they have disappointed a bit, as they have been large favorites in all three games and have failed to cover a single spread to start the season.
Obviously, leading the way is one of the consensus top QB’s in the FBS, Spencer Rattler. The sophomore QB is a top NFL prospect who posted a 28:7 TD to INT ratio in his freshman season and has played well this season thus far with 761 passing yards accompanied by a 7:2 TD to INT ratio this season.
On the ground, Oklahoma will rely on split carries between Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray. Brooks has been the better of the two, amassing 210 yards on an average of 6.2 yards per rush attempt through the first three games.
This offense is supposed to be one of the top groups in the country, and they have been scoring 46.3 points per game, but after a disappointing performance versus Nebraska on O, they will have a tough matchup against a stout WVU defensive unit.
Defensively, the Sooners need to sure up their secondary and pass defense schemes. They have been exposed as of late, finding themselves ranked 90th in passing defense in the FBS.
Oklahoma was disappointing last week, but I don’t see that continuing on the offensive end; they have too many weapons, and being led by Spencer Rattler allows for this offense to be one of the most dynamic in the country.
WVU does not have the firepower to keep up with the scoring that Oklahoma will most likely be doing on Saturday night.
However, Oklahoma is once again favored heavily, heading into the weekend as 16-point favorites over their conference rival, and their recent trend of allowing teams to stay close has me worried about their ability to cover this large spread.
But it is worth noting that Oklahoma’s run defense ranks in the Top 25 in rushing defense, and will be able to limit the attack of Leddie Brown.
I like Oklahoma to pull through and cover the spread for the first time this season.
Final Pick: Oklahoma Sooners -16 (-110)
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