(Photo by WVU Athletics)
The Big 12 Conference officially revealed the 2023 slate for their 14 members on Tuesday afternoon. West Virginia, who is considered to have one of the toughest schedules in the league, finally learned their nine conference opponents for the upcoming campaign.
Though it may be February, it is never too early to talk football. Today, I am going to predict WVU’s 2023 schedule game-by-game. In what is easily the most important season of the Neal Brown-era, I reveal to you if I think he will finally win more than six games with the Mountaineers.
Here are Clark Johnson’s game-by-game predictions for WVU’s 2023 season:
9/2 – at Penn State
I’m probably showing my youth here, but I couldn’t care less if WVU played the Nittany Lions. This isn’t a matchup I have been eager for since it was announced. Penn State is far too talented and too well-coached for the Mountaineers to having a fighting chance. WVU starts 0-1 for the third-straight season.
Penn State 41, WVU 20
9/9 – Duquesne
The Mountaineers get back on the right track with a beat down of Duquesne. Expect both Garrett Greene and Nicco Marchiol to have huge days.
WVU 63, Duquesne 6
9/16 – Pitt
This could very likely be the game that determines Neal Brown’s fate. With a loss, it will be hard for him to redeem himself. The men in the locker room know the importance of winning this game. Expect the Mountaineers to come out fired up. Home-field advantage is enough to knock off the Panthers here.
WVU 31, Pitt 27
9/23 – Texas Tech
Neal Brown has yet to beat Texas Tech – that is until 2023. West Virginia wants their revenge in this game and they finally get it. A late C.J. Donaldson touchdown proves to be the difference.
WVU 35, Texas Tech 27
9/30 – at TCU
I wholeheartedly believe TCU’s 2022 season was a fluke. This is a team that should’ve been nowhere near the College Football Playoff. With the production they lost, I expect them to take a massive step back in 2023. However, I don’t see the Mountaineers escaping Fort Worth with a win.
TCU 42, WVU 23
10/12 – at Houston
This is the game everyone will have circled. WVU versus Houston. Dana versus Neal. Who will prove who wrong? I think the Mountaineers absolutely dominate an outmanned Houston Cougars squad, cranking up the heat on Holgorsen’s seat.
WVU 33, Houston 14
10/21 – Oklahoma State
The Mountaineers finally beat the Cowboys in 2022. They have a chance to win consecutive games against Oklahoma State for the first time in a decade. I think they get it done. West Virginia beats Mike Gundy in Morgantown for the first time since 2013.
WVU 37, Oklahoma State 24
10/28 – at UCF
UCF is easily the most obnoxious of the four newcomers. Nobody is taking them seriously. There’s no reason WVU should be intimidated in this matchup. It’s close all the way to the end, but Garrett Greene seals it with a long first down run.
WVU 24, UCF 20
11/4 – BYU
Easily the best of the newcomers, BYU, will travel to Morgantown in 2023. It’s the first matchup between the two schools since 2016 (WVU won 35-32). This would be a signature win for the Mountaineers. The Cougars don’t have a Big 12-ready roster – that will be the difference. Mountaineers improve to a surprising 7-2.
WVU 33, BYU 31
11/11 – at Oklahoma
The Sooners will be improved and looking for revenge. This could be your typical WVU-Oklahoma matchup with a dominant performance by the Crimson and Cream.
Oklahoma 45, WVU 27
11/18 – Cincinnati
These two have come together for some very entertaining game in the past. There’s no reason to believe this one will be any different. It’ll be close to the very end when a Malachi Ruffin interception seals it.
WVU 20, Cincinnati 16
11/25 – at Baylor
This will be the latest in the season that West Virginia has ever played the Bears. Last season’s matchup was an instant classic with WVU prevailing 43-40. Garrett Greene will be a headache for Dave Armada’s defense, but the Bears will make the play that matters on Senior Day.
Baylor 34, WVU 24
WVU bounces back in a huge way in 2023.
FINAL RECORD – 8-4 (6-3 Big 12)