(Photo by WVU Athletics)
This Saturday, the Mountaineers (3-6, 1-5) will return to Morgantown to take on the Oklahoma Sooners (5-4, 2-4). Since joining the Big 12 in 2012, the Sooners are the only team in the conference that the Mountaineers have yet to defeat. Their most recent defeat came on September 25th, 2021 in Norman (16-13).
While West Virginia has had far from a successful season, they still have an opportunity to make a bowl game should they win out. That will be easier said than done, but nobody left on the schedule is unbeatable. If anyone fits the criteria for beatable, it’s the Sooners.
Under first-year coach Brent Venables, the Sooners have struggled mightily at times. This comes particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Though the Mountaineers have the worst defense in the conference statistically, the Sooners aren’t far behind them.
Oklahoma ranks 8th in the Big 12 in opponent’s points per game (29.8), 8th in yards per game allowed (435.2), 10th in rushing yards per game allowed (199.9), and 5th in passing yards per game allowed (235.3).
When West Virginia has faced defenses that struggle this season, they have more often than not performed well. The holes are their in the Sooners defense for Graham Harrell and the offensive staff to decipher and take advantage of.
With Tony Mathis set to go this weekend, and Justin Johnson performing as well as anyone on offense at this point, I expect WVU to compose a game-plan that relies heavily on the rushing attack. This will help keep their struggling defense off the field, while wearing Oklahoma’s down at the same time. It’s a simple concept, all it will take is solid execution.
I trust that the coaching staff will see this in their analytics and take advantage of it. Per Neal Brown, the team is confident, and he is confident that they will perform well – so am I.
Everything about this spells a rebound game to me. It has all of the signs and signals of a potential signature win for Neal Brown, albeit against an unranked team. However, simply getting a victory will be huge for Brown simply because it just hasn’t been done in the Big 12 yet.
So you heard it from me first. The Mountaineers will salvage a somewhat lost season and take down Oklahoma this Saturday. The team, the fans, and the programs are overdue a magical victory.
The Sooners will not be able to stop what is coming for them from the Mountaineers!