The WVU Mountaineers’ bid for three straight victories fell short last week when they went down to No. 11 Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys pulled away and won this game after a defensive struggle for most of the afternoon.
Ironically, WVU scored on its first possession of the day just to go scoreless the rest of the way. OSU put in two second-half touchdowns and solidified another win by a final score of 24-3.
The Mountaineers traveled 64 yards on 11 plays on the game’s opening drive. This provided optimism for WVU fans; however, it didn’t last.
A short field goal put up the first three points before the offense failed going forward.
Basically, nothing worked, as the Cowboys stuffed the running game and kept all of the passing underneath. Quarterback Jarret Doege threw for only 109 yards, while running backs accumulated fewer than 50 yards.
Unfortunately, WVU’s solid play prior to this one brought the point spread down at West Virginia online sportsbooks. They had it receiving just +3.5 last weekend.
With three games left on the schedule, the Mountaineers can begin a strong finish to the year this Saturday. They head to Manhattan, Kansas, to take on the Kansas State Wildcats.
Mountaineers Lose To OSU
It looked like it might be another successful outing for the Mountaineers following their first drive. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Not only did the offense not have a good day, it barely produced at all. The Mountaineers punted after five plays on the next possession, then had a three-and-out the next three times on the field.
The offense gained 17 yards in the first half after its scoring drive.
One of the only reasons the contest was still up for grabs was the defense. The unit was stellar against Oklahoma State’s offense, too.
WVU forced two punts and an interception on OSU’s first three opportunities. It gave up a touchdown and a field goal to close out the half, but WVU’s offense didn’t help whatsoever.
Besides not running many plays or occupying the game clock, the offense put the defense in susceptible situations. The Cowboys’ first touchdown drive began at their own 47.
More of the same occurred in the second half. The WVU defense made OSU punt two more times to start the third quarter, but the special teams never got the ball to the offense the second time.
Return man Graeson Malashevich fumbled, and OSU took over deep in WVU’s territory. Four plays and 26 yards later, the Cowboys extended their lead to 17-3.
The Mountaineers proceeded to go three-and-out with their next three times having the ball. They finished the awful showing with a Doege interception, then by turning it over on downs late in the fourth.
It was a fitting ending to an awful performance offensively.
In total, WVU managed just 133 yards and 11 first downs in the defeat. This is even more disappointing because the defense played so well.
Sophomore Tony Mathis Jr. led the team in rushing with just 25 yards. Leddie Brown was limited the whole time and averaged only 2.4 yards per carry.
Sam James was the only receiver with more than three receptions. He hauled in five passes for 46 yards.
WVU Football Vs. Kansas State Preview
If the defense continues where it left off last week, then the Mountaineers have a real chance to take down Kansas State.
Linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo almost topped 10 total tackles again, while Akheem Mesidor notched the Mountaineers’ only sack.
The Wildcats enter this week’s meeting feeling good about themselves. They’ve won three straight and now sit at 6-3 on the campaign.
They’ll have to contend with this WVU defense after putting up 35 a week ago. This was against Kansas, though.
Still, Kansas State is scoring in most tilts recently, averaging more than 30 points over the last three.
Both of its offensive leaders rank within the top five in the Big 12 Conference at their respective positions in yardage.
Quarterback Skylar Thompson is fifth in passing, with almost 1,600 yards so far on the season. He’s also completing over 71% of his attempts.
Thompson was great last Saturday, but the offense operates through running back Deuce Vaughn. The sophomore is currently fifth in the conference in rushing, with 866 yards through nine contests.
Vaughn averages 5.6 yards per rush and contributes a lot in the passing game as well. He’s actually the Wildcats’ leading receiver in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Deuce has 38 grabs on the year for another 421 yards, to go with 15 overall scores on the year. KSU’s star is tied with Iowa State’s Breece Hall for the most touchdowns among Big 12 players.
This mark has the players tied for fifth in the entire nation. WVU’s neighbor, Marshall, features the most productive college player, running back Rasheen Ali, with 19 touchdowns.
The Wildcats’ top receiver is junior Phillip Brooks. He’s recorded 27 receptions for 370 yards in 2021.
Their most notable defensive weapon is end Felix Anudike-Uzomah. The sophomore has the most sacks in FBS at 11. He has also, incredibly, forced five fumbles this season.
Anudike-Uzomah does plenty against the run, too, as he’s third on KSU in total tackles.
WVU Football Odds At WV Sportsbooks
The Mountaineers will need a better strategy coming into this week.
At DraftKings Sportsbook WV, they’re receiving +6 in the point spread at the moment. Bettors can take WVU’s moneyline of +190, whereas Kansas State is listed at -235.
This matchup’s game total is slightly lower than the previous tilt against Oklahoma State. DraftKings has it set at 47 points right now.
Despite still trailing at the half, the Mountaineers were once again more successful in the first two quarters last week.
This Saturday, they’re available getting +3.5 in the opening half, with a moneyline of +165. The online sportsbook shows KSU at -195 to hold a lead going into the break.
Some game props allow bettors to win big from just a small wager. Picking the winning margin is one of these markets, where +340 are the best odds to take.
If you believe WVU can get the job done, its odds to win by a margin of 1-6 points are posted at +450 on DraftKings.