The WVU Mountaineers used a big first half to power another victory last weekend. Despite scoring just three points in the second half, the team survived against No. 15 Virginia Tech for their second straight win.
WVU scored 24 points in the opening two quarters and led by 17 at the break. The Hokies put in two second-half scores to close the gap, but the Mountaineers prevailed for a six-point triumph.
Running back Leddie Brown exploded for his best game of the 2021 campaign so far. He carried it 19 times for more than 160 yards and a touchdown.
Brown ripped off an 80-yard scamper to begin the scoring and get the Mountaineers in the end zone after just two plays.
He was a factor in the passing game, too. Brown was third on the team in receiving on Saturday, adding three catches for 35 yards.
The senior propelled the offense, while the defense did just enough to secure the W.
With inside of a minute remaining, the defense forced an incomplete pass on fourth down and goal for VT.
Although this is a great result for the Mountaineers, they must quickly turn their attention to this week. They leave the friendly confines of Morgantown and go to Norman to battle the fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners.
Mountaineers Defeat Hokies
The WVU victory over Long Island certainly counts, but it was important for the school to take down a real Power 5 opponent before the Big 12 schedule gets underway.
This win against VT provides some more confidence to a side following a 66-point shutout.
Quarterback Jarret Doege threw for 193 yards on 15 completions, including two touchdowns. The offense primarily relied on the run, though.
Besides Brown, backup QB Garrett Greene contributed 28 yards on just four carries.
The offense got started quickly, like it did a week ago. As mentioned, Brown put the Mountaineers’ second snap in for a score just a few minutes in.
Then, on their second possession, wideout Bryce Ford-Wheaton caught a 29-yard pass from Doege to take a 14-0 lead.
WVU put together two more scoring drives before the first half concluded. The first finished with a 16-yard Sam James score, while the other netted a field goal.
Even though they scored just three points, the offensive unit gained nearly 80 yards over the course of 12 plays that drive.
This extended the score to 24-7 heading into halftime.
Another long drive that recorded three more points opened the third quarter, but that was the last time WVU put points on the board. Two punts and two turnovers allowed Tech to get back into things.
Doege fumbled early in the fourth quarter, then proceeded to throw a pick deep in his own territory with just about two minutes left.
Fortunately, the defense was able to bail Doege out and keep WVU’s lead intact.
Once VT got into first-and-goal, the Mountaineers stiffened. The Hokies’ first two runs went backward a yard, then had passes fall incomplete on third and fourth down.
Safety Alonzo Addae performed at a high level all afternoon. He led the Mountaineers in tackles with 10, while tallying one of the team’s six sacks.
Sophomore Jared Bartlett notched his first three sacks of the season as well.
WVU Football Vs. Oklahoma Preview
Defeating Virginia Tech was important, but this week means so much more. Oklahoma has owned the Big 12 historically and in recent years.
Since WVU joined the conference in 2012, OU has taken the league title seven times.
Again, head coach Lincoln Riley and the Sooners are favored to take the Big 12 at WV online sportsbooks.
They’re listed with odds of -200 at DraftKings WV Sportsbook.
The Mountaineers currently own the sixth-best odds at +2500.
A lot could change at both sportsbooks and in the conference landscape if WVU can pull off the upset this weekend.
Oklahoma welcomes WVU to town with a perfect 3-0 record after taking down Nebraska last Saturday. The No. 4 team in the nation was tested, though, only beating an average side by seven points.
This is the first time these two schools have seen one another in quite some time. Both their scheduled meetings a year ago were canceled.
When they last played in 2019, current Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts helped OU to a 52-14 beatdown of the Mountaineers.
Not much has changed in Norman, as the Sooners feature another capable dual-threat QB. Sophomore Spencer Rattler ranks 15th overall in ESPN’s QBR and is throwing at a very efficient rate this season.
Through three contests, he’s accumulated more than 750 passing yards, while completing nearly 75% of his attempts.
Rattler also chips in on the rushing attack. He’s rushed 18 times for 71 yards and two scores so far.
Although he’s no longer the favorite to win this year’s Heisman, Rattler is still right near the top of the list. At PointsBet WV Sportsbook, the Sooners’ signal caller is shown in third with odds of +1500.
The creative OU offense includes other ways to frustrate opponents. It spreads the ball around and uses pace to keep defenses uncomfortable.
Five different receivers caught at least eight passes, and two running backs have over 30 rushes on the young season.
Both juniors Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray average more than 5.6 yards per carry and are a vital part of the OU attack.
WVU-OU Betting Odds At WV Sportsbooks
The Mountaineers need to slow down Oklahoma’s offense to have a chance at winning Saturday night. Luckily for them, Nebraska just put on tape how to limit the explosive unit.
Even though the Huskers lost, they surrendered only 23 points and forced OU to punt four times.
Creating turnovers would definitely benefit WVU as well.
At DraftKings, WVU is receiving +17 in the point spread. Its moneyline is available at +550, compared to Oklahoma at -800.
The game’s total is right around where all of this year’s matchups have stood. The online sportsbook posts it at 55.5 points at the moment.
WVU continues to play well early in games, so the first-half markets are always an option. The Mountaineers are getting +9.5 in the spread for the opening two quarters, with a moneyline of +410.