Texas vs. West Virginia prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Mountaineers and Longhorns.
Texas vs. West Virginia Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 12 – 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX
In the most compelling game on the Big 12 schedule this weekend, Texas tries to build momentum as West Virginia begins its run toward a possible league championship. The Horns have won their last two, riding the powerful legs of D’Onta Foreman to a 5-4 mark and a little relief for beleaguered coach Charlie Strong. But the last time the inconsistent Horns won two straight, they followed it up with a three-game losing streak. Which are the real Mountaineers, the one that lost their toughest game of the year by 17 to Oklahoma State or the one that won their other seven outings? The world gets answers in the next month, beginning this Saturday in Austin.
What To Know About West Virginia
The Mountaineers are having a terrific season, exceeding expectations under Dana Holgorsen through the first two months. They’ve got a physical, balanced offense and a defense that’s generally done a sound job for coordinator Tony Gibson. The passing attack of Skyler Howard to receivers Shelton Gibson and Daikiel Shorts, in particular, should get a bunch of clean looks against a beatable Texas secondary. But that Oklahoma State loss two weeks ago shined a light on some of the team’s weaknesses on both sides of the ball, especially in pass defense. West Virginia has also yet to defeat a ranked opponent in 2016.
What to Know About Texas
The Longhorns have a penchant for inconsistency, which is why Strong’s future is in doubt. Defense is a problem, allowing 33 points per game and ranking 123rd nationally in pass efficiency D. And the offense is being led by a true freshman, Shane Buechele, whose up-and-down accuracy has been a microcosm for his team. Foreman, though, has been a one-man freight train, rumbling for 591 yards and five touchdowns in the last two wins over Baylor and Texas Tech. He’s the best player in this matchup, and West Virginia knows it, so it’ll be up to Buechele to capitalize through the air the way Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph did on Oct. 29.
Offense: Push. Texas boasts Foreman, but West Virginia has the more experienced quarterback and a deep stable of backs that includes Justin Crawford and Rushel Shell, if his ankle injury is healed.
Defense: West Virginia. Both teams are similarly effective in run defense, but the Mountaineers have been considerably stingier on the back end.
Special Teams: Texas. Mountaineers lost one of the nation’s top kickers when Josh Lambert was dismissed. Horn punter Michael Dickson ranks second nationally in punting average.
Coaching: Push. It’s a toss-up between West Virginia’s duo of Holgorsen and Gibson and Texas’ Strong and offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert, who has immediately paid dividends.
Intangibles: Texas. The Longhorns have caught a tailwind at a most opportune time of the year. Plus, they’ve yet to lose at home this season.
Matchup To Watch
Buechele vs. the West Virginia secondary
Foreman is a force, with 10 straight games of at least 100 yards, so he’s going to get his real estate Saturday. But with the Mountaineers likely to throw everyone imaginable into the box to stop No. 33, it’ll be up to Buechele to take advantage when receivers Armanti Foreman and Devin Duvernay see man coverage.
Texas vs. West Virginia Betting Odds
Spread: Texas -2
Over/Under: No line as of post
West Virginia at Texas Prediction
You really never know what you’ll get from Texas. But this team has played well at home, and Foreman’s running has finally started to shift the dynamic in Austin. And while West Virginia is a rugged and well-coached opponent, the team failed its toughest test of the year so far. Foreman will star once more, wearing down a West Virginia front that rarely gets penetration. In fact, the Horns have almost twice as many tackles for loss than the Mountaineers, who rank 124th with just 35. It’ll be close, it’ll be entertaining and it’ll be the win that punches Texas’ ticket to a bowl game.
Texas vs. West Virginia Score Prediction: Texas 33, West Virginia 30