It didn’t appear as if was going to be a joyful evening for WVU fans early on last Saturday.
When TCU’s Derius Davis returned the game’s opening kick 100 yards for a touchdown, the Mountaineers seemed poised for their fourth consecutive defeat.
That wasn’t the case, however, as they outperformed the Horned Frogs for much of the night en route to a 29-17 victory.
WVU did a great job responding to the early punch from TCU with a solid drive that resulted in points. Quarterback Jarret Doege hit Sean Ryan for a 44-yard strike on the nine-play drive, and WVU cut into the deficit with a field goal.
The defense held strong on the next possession and got the offense the ball back following a Dante Stills sack.
The Mountaineers then traveled 94 yards over 15 plays and took the lead before the end of the first quarter.
After the first half concluded with both teams exchanging points, the WVU defense tightened up. It didn’t surrender another point, and the offense was able to pad its lead on the way to a comfortable win.
Now the Mountaineers must turn their attention to a formidable opponent in No. 22 Iowa State. The Cyclones come to Morgantown as the betting favorites at West Virginia sportsbooks.
They’ve won three straight and are currently tied for second in the Big 12.
Mountaineers Beat TCU
The Mountaineers were clicking on both sides of the ball against TCU. It was their first W in conference play and brings the overall record to 3-4.
Doege had the big throw on the first drive but wasn’t asked to do a whole lot the rest of the way. He completed 21 of 28 attempts for 257 yards and, most importantly, didn’t commit a turnover.
His role was slightly relaxed thanks to a great showing from the WVU ground attack. Altogether, the team rushed for 229 yards and averaged 5.6 yards per carry.
Leddie Brown led the way and had his second-best outing this season. He turned 24 carries into 111 yards and three touchdowns.
Sophomore Tony Mathis Jr. contributed as well, with 48 yards on 12 rushes.
Quarterback Garrett Greene also had a 67-yard scamper that helped get additional points.
Ryan’s long grab accounted for a good portion of his team-leading 81 yards. Three others caught at least four passes, including juniors Bryce Ford-Wheaton and Winston Wright Jr., who combined for 124 yards.
The defense recorded two sacks and three second-half turnovers. Cornerbacks Daryl Porter Jr. and Charles Woods each secured their first interceptions of the year, while Woods snagged a late fumble caused by senior Sean Mahone, too.
Linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo continued causing problems for opposing offenses. His total of 11 tackles was more than double any other Mountaineer in this contest.
Chandler-Semedo extended his team lead in tackles and now has 60 overall on the year.
This was a quality performance from WVU, and one that was much needed. The facts that the offense generated nearly 500 yards total and the defense created turnovers are encouraging.
Head coach Neal Brown and his side must utilize this momentum and carry it into this weekend’s tilt with Iowa State.
WVU Football Vs. Iowa State Preview
The Cyclones entered the season ranked inside the top 10 in the AP poll. Although they stumbled out of the gate slightly, they seem to have figured things out and are a very talented squad.
Iowa State has won four of its last five, including last week over No. 8 Oklahoma State. Its only loss during that span was by two points to Baylor on the road.
The Cyclones’ only other defeat came at the hands of Big Ten rival Iowa. The Hawkeyes lost this past week but were undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the nation prior to the slip-up.
This track record tells us that ISU is a good team and won’t go down easy. WVU will likely need to play at the top of its game to contend.
Quarterback Brock Purdy leads the offensive attack for Iowa State. He’s completing over 75% of passes right now and has 11 touchdowns against just four picks.
Purdy’s efficiency is amazing, but the offense goes through running back Breece Hall. The junior averages more than 5.2 yards per carry and is closing in on 1,000 for the season.
Hall has 818 yards to go along with 12 touchdowns through seven games. His rushing production places him just outside the top 10 in all of FBS (Division I).
The Cyclones also feature a sizable weapon on the outside. Wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson ranks 22nd in receptions with 46 and is coming off one of his best showings of 2021.
Last week, he totaled 12 grabs for 125 yards and two scores in the winning effort.
On the defensive front, linebacker Mike Rose leads the Cyclones with 51 total tackles. The unit includes two defensive ends that can get after the QB as well.
Junior Will McDonald IV owns 7.5 sacks thus far, while teammate Eyioma Uwazurike has five.
The Mountaineers’ offensive line will need to keep these guys in check in obvious passing situations to give Doege a chance.
WVU Football Odds At WV Sportsbooks
According to the odds at WV sportsbooks, WVU will need to earn another upset on Saturday to get back to .500.
At DraftKings Sportsbook WV, Iowa State is laying -7 in the point spread. Its moneyline is available at -280, while the Mountaineers are listed at +225 to win the game outright.
This week’s game total dips below normal for WVU contests and sits at 48.5 right now.
Those who capitalized on another strong first half from the Mountaineers could do the same against the Cyclones.
WVU has taken a lead into the halftime break in five of its seven contests this year. Mountain State bettors can take their side receiving +4 in the spread for the opening two quarters.
DraftKings shows WVU’s moneyline at +185 for the first half, compared to ISU’s odds of -225.
It’s quite possible the Mountaineers will carry some of their momentum from the previous week into this one. A quality start could energize the home fans and help get WVU another notable victory.