The WVU Mountaineers suffered another difficult loss this past weekend. They fell to Texas Tech by three points as a late field goal once again hands them a defeat.
WVU drops to 2-3 overall, including 0-2 in conference games so far. Incredibly, its three losses were decided by a combined 12 points.
Unlike most other weeks this season, the Mountaineers played significantly better in the second half. While this was an improvement that they needed, coach Neal Brown and his guys forgot to show up in the opening half.
The offense didn’t score at all and put the team in a sizable hole. Their four first-half possessions resulted in two punts, a turnover, and a series ending on downs.
WVU’s defense also struggled out of the gate, giving up two touchdowns in the opening quarter. The second one is partially on the offense, though, as the Red Raiders began their drive in WVU territory following a fumble.
This game was disappointing for the fans in Morgantown as well as the team’s backers at West Virginia sportsbooks. They listed the Mountaineers giving around -7.5 in the point spread prior to the game.
As always, they must turn things around quickly because there’s another quality opponent on the schedule this week. WVU travels to Baylor this Saturday looking to avoid its third straight loss.
Mountaineers Lose Again
It appeared the Mountaineers might get blown out on their home field as Texas Tech took a 17-point edge into the break. WVU flipped the switch on both sides of the ball, however, and actually tied the score before entering the fourth quarter.
Running back Leddie Brown finished off a seven-play drive to open the half, while Jarret Doege found senior Isaiah Esdale for the tying score late in the third.
The wide receiver recorded only eight total receptions in the first four contests of the year, but exploded on Saturday. Esdale caught six passes for 113 yards, including one that went for 55.
WVU’s defense also had a hand in changing the momentum. They forced consecutive three-and-outs before the offense could tie the score.
Unfortunately, the Mountaineers surrendered two passes of over 40 yards on their final two defensive possessions. This led to two Tech field goals, with the latter coming with only 18 seconds remaining.
After an awful first half, the strong showing in the third and fourth was too little, too late. The offense scored every time it touched the ball in the second half, except for the final moments which consisted of two plays.
Texas Tech did just enough to scratch across its fourth victory of the season.
Besides the early fumble, Doege had a good showing. He completed 25 of 33 attempts for over 300 yards and a touchdown.
Brown totaled 57 yards in the running game, but didn’t have a great performance. He averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. Again, QB Garrett Greene contributed with 34 yards on five carries.
Receiver Winston Wright Jr. didn’t find the end zone, but hauled in nine grabs for 106 yards.
Safety Sean Mahone reached double-digit tackles for the second straight week and third time this year. He also produced WVU’s only turnover with an interception on the game’s first drive.
Defensive lineman Dante Stills notched two more sacks, as well.
WVU Football Vs. Baylor Preview
The schedule doesn’t get any easier going forward. This week, the Mountaineers travel to Waco to battle the Baylor Bears.
Although they weren’t projected to contend for the Big 12 title, the Bears are playing well in 2021. They actually just lost their first game of the season this past weekend, going down to No. 19 Oklahoma State.
Baylor won its first four outings prior to that. The most impressive was its triumph over No. 14 Iowa State two weeks ago.
Despite losing to the Cowboys, Baylor is a confident bunch and should pose some issues for WVU.
Junior Gerry Bohanon is a dual-threat quarterback who’s looked good doing both this season. He’s completed more than 67% of passes for nearly 1,000 yards in five tilts.
Bohanon’s got seven throwing touchdowns against no interceptions, while he’s accounted for 125 rushing yards and five additional scores on the ground.
Baylor likes to run often and uses several guys on a regular basis.
Senior Abram Smith is the leader and carried the bulk of the weight a week ago. He’s averaging over 7.5 yards per rush en route to 510 yards and six touchdowns so far.
Trestan Ebner isn’t too far behind his teammate. He’s responsible for around 350 rushing yards this season with an average of six yards per touch.
Two more seniors are Bohanon’s top targets on the outside. Receivers R.J. Sneed and Tyquan Thornton combined for 37 receptions for almost 600 yards and four touchdowns.
On defense, linebacker Dillon Doyle is everywhere. He leads the Bears in tackles with 39, which is 10 more than the player who’s second.
Despite the fact that no Baylor defender has more than one sack, it does feature eight total guys with at least a half sack to their name.
WVU Football Odds At WV Sportsbooks
The Mountaineers will need to play well in order to return to Morgantown with a win. According to DraftKings WV, they’re a slight underdog in this week’s matchup receiving +3 in the point spread.
Their moneyline is available at +125, compared to Baylor posted at -145.
This game’s total is much lower than last week and for WVU games in general. The online sportsbook set the number at just 44.5 points after it was at 56 against Texas Tech.
There are some other ways to bet on the contest this Saturday. DraftKings has WVU’s individual team total at just 20.5 this week. Even though it hasn’t surpassed that mark in the last two, it did in each of the first three games.
Bettors can take aim at choosing the correct winning margin, too. If you believe WVU is due for a bounce back, then there are some favorable odds up.
Taking the Mountaineers to win by 1-6 points is shown at +370, with the odds for a win by 7-12 points available at +500.