West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen in Saturday’s battle between the Mountaineers and Cowboys.
West Virginia beat TCU last week despite being held to fewer than 400 yards of total offense for the first time all season. The Mountaineers’ defense might’ve been overlooked to that point, but they’ve held five of their six opponents to 21 points or fewer and all three of their Big 12 foes to 17 or less. Oklahoma State can put points on the board, but it’ll have its toughest test of the season as West Virginia moves to 7-0.
West Virginia is the best team in the Big 12. Heck, it’s the only one that can play consistent defense. Oklahoma State is more than capable of putting up a ton of yards and points, but after what West Virginia has now done to Texas Tech and TCU in consecutive games, there’s no reason to believe the Mountaineers won’t shut down Mason Rudolph and Co. West Virginia is giving up an average of 14.3 points per game to Big 12 teams this year. Let that number sink in.
The Mountaineers took it to Texas Tech. Then they beat up on TCU. Oklahoma State is simply the latest foe gearing up to be a big ol’ W on West Virginia’s schedule. Mason Rudolph and Skyler Howard are about to get into a duel, and it’s going to be awesome. Howard will win out, and he’ll get some help from Rushel Shell, who will rush for almost 100 yards and cross the plane for six points. The Mountaineers will win by 10.
The Mountaineers are off to their best start since 2006, and Dana Holgorsen’s squad controls its own destiny in the Big 12. The only home loss for the Cowboys was the controversial setback to Central Michigan, so it will be a tough environment for WVU. The Cowboys have forced a Big 12-best 16 turnovers this season, while the Mountaineers have turned it over just eight times. The difference once again is coordinator Tony Gibson’s defense, which has been solid against pass-happy attacks. Holgorsen and Co. remain unscathed.
The Mountaineers proved a lot last week in holding TCU to 10 points in a dominant win in Morgantown. This a week after holding the dynamic Texas Tech offense to 17 points. Mason Rudolph and the Cowboys are better than both of those teams, but not good enough to take down the Mountaineers. Skyler Howard and Rushel Shell are playing the best football of their careers and should be able to match Rudolph shot for shot. At the end of the day, it’ll come down to which defense can get more stops and Mountaineers should have the edge there.
These Mountaineers are good, and if they go undefeated, I think Morgantown will cease to exist as a city. They will win this week, as WVU actually has a defense. You read that, rest of the Big 12? A d-e-f-e-n-s-e. Let me explain: it is where you try to stop an opponent from getting into the end zone. There are instructional videos and everything. Try it out. You might like it.