Just after playing one of its best games of the season, the WVU Mountaineers returned home to West Virginia to get routed by Texas Tech. The Red Raiders handed WVU its fifth straight defeat Saturday, winning 38-17.
Maybe more discouraging than the loss was how Texas Tech was able to dominate the game. In what was supposed to be a close contest, the Red Raiders controlled the entire game and went into halftime with a 35-10 lead.
The loss now drops WVU to 3-6 overall and tied for last in the Big 12 Conference at 1-5. Only the Kansas Jayhawks have as bad of a record as the Mountaineers.
Not only did WVU lose again in front of its home fans, but it was never really close to covering the point spread, either. The Mountaineers were 2.5-point underdogs; however, the game made it seem like the spread should have been much more.
While coach Neal Brown and his team were able to produce some offense in this one, they made too many mistakes to come away with a victory. WVU committed four turnovers in the loss.
The Mountaineers’ defense was also very disappointing.
The unit contained Baylor on the road and limited one of the best offenses in the conference to just 17 points. This week, though, the defense surrendered a touchdown on each of the first five drives by Texas Tech.
This loss was discouraging because it was one of the better matchups WVU had remaining. The team must now play two 6-3 teams before finishing with 4-5 TCU.
This week, the Mountaineers are more than two-touchdown underdogs on the road against Kansas State.
Although the team is struggling, West Virginia sportsbooks should continue to see plenty of betting action. With only three weeks remaining in the regular season, bettors will be looking to take advantage of the few games left.
Let’s breakdown what went wrong against Texas Tech and look ahead at WVU’s chances going up against KSU.
WVU Football Struggles
Many WVU fans had high hopes heading into last week’s game against Texas Tech. The team was coming off a fantastic performance in which WVU nearly upset the 12th-ranked Baylor Bears on the road.
Following such a strong showing, most thought this game was an excellent opportunity to grab another win for the 2019 season. This plan did not work out as the Mountaineers were down 28-3 in the blink of an eye.
While the offense was able to gain yards, quarterback Austin Kendall and his teammates didn’t score very much. Kendall fumbled, threw two interceptions, and WVU turned the ball over on downs four separate times.
Costly mistakes like these are not going to help the Mountaineers win many games against quality opponents.
Besides missed chances on the offensive side, WVU’s defense simply didn’t show up to play this week. In the first half alone, it gave up 35 points, including four rushing touchdowns.
For the day, Tech quarterback Jett Duffey went 24 of 34 for 354 yards and a touchdown. WVU’s lack of a pass rush allowed the junior QB to do what he wanted all afternoon.
On the flip side of things, the Mountaineers changed quarterbacks late in the third quarter. Jarret Doege made his season debut when he replaced Kendall with the game already out of hand.
Although the Red Raiders defense was no longer being as aggressive, Doege had a productive first outing. He completed 11 of 17 passes for 119 yards and a score.
The only other Mountaineer who had a good day was receiver Sam James. The freshman has proven that he’s a very talented athlete who opposing defenses must account for.
James caught 14 passes for 223 yards on Saturday.
While the loss and lack of cover certainly sting, the Mountaineers must regroup for their final three games before 2019 becomes a year to forget.
WVU Football Predictions
This week, WVU will try to break its losing ways against the 16th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats. KSU enters this contest with a 6-3 record overall and 3-3 in the conference.
Following three straight wins, KSU lost its last game against Texas, 27-24. During that streak, the Wildcats took down Oklahoma for the Sooners’ only loss of the season thus far.
Dual-threat quarterback Skylar Thompson leads the Wildcats. So far this season, he’s passed for over 1,500 yards and nine touchdowns while adding more than 300 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
Although KSU has multiple ways of beating teams, its running game is where it’s typically best.
On the year, the Wildcats have six different players who have rushed the ball at least 20 times. James Gilbert leads all running backs with 100 carries for 558 yards and five scores.
KSU’s top receiving threat is senior Dalton Schoen. He’s accounted for 30 receptions, over 450 yards and three touchdowns so far.
Unfortunately, with the way WVU’s defense has been playing, it appears that Schoen and the Wildcats’ other top targets will have big games this weekend.
Heading into the game, the Mountaineers are listed at around 15-point underdogs. For WVU to have a chance in this one, it’s going to have to start better than it has in previous weeks.
By getting down a bunch of points, WVU has to change its offensive game plan and become more pass-oriented. When opposing defenses know you’re going to pass more often, it makes their job much more manageable.
If the Mountaineers can jump out to an early lead or at least keep it close, then Kendall will have much more success. This could help guide WVU to an upset, or at least, a cover.
WVU Football Odds
The WV sports betting market hasn’t shown signs of slowing down during football season. With only a few games remaining on the schedule, bettors in the state will probably continue to get in their wagers.
Since online sports betting apps have re-emerged in the Mountain State, residents are gambling more than ever. Even though the football team only has a few games left, the Mountaineers basketball season is starting, too.
Two online sportsbooks available in the state:
According to both online betting apps, here are college football betting odds for WVU and the Marshall Thundering Herd heading into Week 12:
|WVU vs. Kansas State|
|DraftKings||WVU +14||47.5||WVU +460
|FanDuel||WVU +14||47.5||WVU +440
|Marshall vs. Louisiana Tech|
|DraftKings||Marshall -4.5||56.5||Marshall -190
|FanDuel||Marshall -4.5||55.5||Marshall -195
Last Updated: Nov. 14, 2019