Oklahoma State has been pretty constant in one aspect of their series with West Virginia. The Cowboys always seem to hand West Virginia a huge loss every season. Last year especially, the Mountaineers were top ten in the nation and couldn’t clinch a Big 12 championship game birth after a loss in Stillwater. In 2016 the Mountaineers were undefeated and climbing up the rankings before a slip up against the Cowboys. The moral of the story is WVU has played this team before with a lot riding on the game, and every time its been the Cowboys who have gone home with the W.
This year, the Cowboys are the favorites coming into Morgantown. Oklahoma State is 7-3 but just 4-3 in conference play. With a bowl berth clinched and a championship game appearance very unlikely, the Cowboys don’t have much riding on this game. Again, West Virginia has a lot riding on a OSU-WVU matchup. The Mountaineers are just 4-6 but are optimistic that they can finish the season with two wins to make a bowl game. That optimism sprouts from a huge win last week in Manhattan, Kansas. Oklahoma State will look to continue their four game win streak in the series and their three game win streak on the season. West Virginia will look to extend their season a bit.
- When: 11:00 AM CT
- Where: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV
- Weather: Rainy, 48°
- TV: ESPN2
- Stream: WatchESPN
- Line: OSU-5.5, O/U 55
21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-3)
The Oklahoma State Cowboys had one of their most dominant wins of the season last week against the Kansas Jayhawks. Unfortunately, quarterback Spencer Sanders left the game early with a hand injury that has resulted in his season coming to an end prematurely.
Backup quarterback Dru Brown came in and handled the offense exactly how a red-shirt senior is supposed to. After finding wide receiver Dillon Stoner for a deep touchdown, Brown was able to manage the game and keep the Jayhawks in their nest.
The defense has continued their hot play, by extending their streak of forced turnovers. This all being led by sophomore safety Kolby Harvell-Peel and his two interceptions. The Cowboys are bringing a three-game win streak, and an outside shot at playing in the Big 12 Championship into Morgantown this Saturday, and should leave with a fourth straight win.
Cowboy Keys to the Game
Don’t Force Anything – No matter who takes snaps at quarterback this Saturday, be it Brown or freshman Brendon Costello. The key to offense is feeding Chuba and making throws in rhythm. The Mountaineers have found a new spark as a team, and are looking to become bowl eligible. Whoever the quarterback is, needs to slow the game down and make throws when called upon.
Chuba Be Chuba – This one has two parts to it. The offensive line needs to hold their blocks and contain the West Virginia lines, especially the Still brothers. This will facilitate Chuba into having open lanes and allow him to do Chuba things.
Defense Play Fast – The Cowboy defense has been on fire the last three games, forcing a total of 10 turnovers in a three-game span. If the defense can keep this pressure up and fly around the field, look for turnovers to occur and momentum to swing towards the Cowboys.
Hayden’s Game Prediction
The Cowboys coming in with a new quarterback will look to ride Hubbard early and force the Mountaineers to stop the run. But after, finding some rhythm throws and keep Dillon Stoner on his hot streak of touchdowns.
After the defense forces some turnovers and confusion on the Mountaineer side of the ball. Look for a close game early, but the Cowboys pull away in the second half.
West Virginia Mountaineers (4-6)
West Virginia looked like a completely different squad last week. The Mountaineers offense started to come together and there’s one main reason for that. Jarret Doege completely changed the outlook. Teams started to at least respect the passing game and that opened up the run game for the Mountaineers. In the passing game Doege was able to extend plays a little more than Kendall was and that was showcased on the game winning touchdown. Doege was also more accurate on his deep balls which added some depth to the offensive attack. Kansas State had an elite passing defense statically and Doege made it look easy.
Last Week Leddie Brown and Kennedy McKoy combined for over 100 yards, something that hasn’t happened much this season. Receiving-wise, Sam James was shut down all game. George Campbell picked up the slack racking up 92 yards and 2 touchdowns. The offense still isn’t measurable to the recent ones in Morgantown, but with Doege under center it’s getting there.
The West Virginia defense answered the call last week. Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning called them out and the physicality and effort took a step up. Despite loosing Josh Norwood for the season, after making a once in a lifetime interception catch, the underclassman defensive backs continued to step up. The defense lacks talent, outside of the Stills brothers up front, but if they continue to play hard like they did last week they can get the job done.
Mountaineer Keys To The Game
Stop Chuba – Oklahoma State knew they would be without Tylan Wallace. They recently just learned that they would be without Spencer Sanders, though. However, they still have one of the best players in the country at running back. Chuba Hubbard is the country’s best running back statistically. He’s ran for 20 touchdowns and 1,726 yards. He’s been playing on rookie mode last year and if West Virginia doesn’t contain him they can say goodbye to a bowl game.
Play For 60 Minutes – West Virginia, at least offensively, was up and down last week. They had a great first and fourth quarter but failed to score in-between. Last season the Mountaineers had a 17 point lead in Stillwater before everything fell apart. Both are instances of times the Mountaineers have, and almost shot themselves in the foot. They’ll need to bring it all afternoon against the superior Cowboys.
Do(ege) It Again – Last week Doege was named the conference’s newcomer of the week. His performance was truly something special. He needs to do it again. Oklahoma State will give up points, but they’ll also score points. Doege is going to need to put up at least 30 if WVU wants a shot. He’ll have another chance to impress and get this team that much closer to a bowl game.
Franklin’s Game Prediction
West Virginia has been in this situation against Oklahoma State before. A must win game, and every time the Mountaineers have come up short. This year is different. Oklahoma State isn’t playing the role of spoiler necessarily and with tons of injuries to skill players the opportunity is there for the Mountaineers. I think Doege has a little more magic left.