The difficult 2021 campaign continued as the WVU Mountaineers lost again last weekend at Kansas State.
They’ll now need to win their final two games in the regular season to get back to .500 with a 6-6 record. That mark will also make the team bowl eligible and put one additional contest on the schedule.
While 6-6 isn’t the best showing, it could get WVU another opportunity to end the season and actually finish 7-6. There are over 40 bowls taking place this year, and the Mountaineers would love to participate in one.
That will start with a victory this week over Texas. The Longhorns aren’t playing their best either, so West Virginia sportsbooks show the Mountaineers as the favorites in this one.
This won’t come easy, as things didn’t look particularly good on the road against KSU. The Mountaineers fell behind early and never really recovered.
Kansas State took a 17-3 lead into the break and wasn’t forced to do much in the second half. WVU closed the gap to seven at one point, but KSU answered right back with a touchdown to extend the lead to 31-17.
WVU didn’t score again and went home with another tough loss in the Big 12.
Although a lot hasn’t gone right, there is still time for the Mountaineers to end the season on a positive note. That begins on Saturday with a visit from Texas.
Mountaineers Lose Second Straight
It seemed like it was going to be a long day immediately after the first possession for WVU. On just its second play from scrimmage, quarterback Jarret Doege threw an interception to set KSU up at its 45-yard line.
Six plays later, the Wildcats scored the opening points of the game. They traveled 55 yards, with all but four of those coming via the run.
KSU’s sophomore running back Joe Ervin finished off the drive with a two-yard touchdown.
Then, after the offense stalled out a few more times, the special teams came up short again. The Wildcats blocked the punt deep in WVU’s own territory and scooped it up for a score.
Looking for the end zone on the next possession, the Mountaineers decided not to kick a field goal and go for it. Doege was sacked, and KSU took over around their own 40.
The defense held strong; however, the offense couldn’t help. It went 45 yards in 10 plays but failed to score because of a missed field goal.
Instead of going for it on fourth in basically the same spot, head coach Neal Brown chose to kick it this time. Casey Legg’s 47-yard attempt was off the mark, and the score remained 14-0.
The second half saw plenty of improvement from the offense when it was able it hold onto the ball.
It produced touchdowns on drives of 10 plays for 68 yards and 14 plays going 80 yards.
Besides the defense surrendering more in the final two quarters, another Doege interception and a Leddie Brown fumble limited WVU’s chances.
The loss was disappointing for the locker room and backers who took the +6 in the point spread at WV online sportsbooks.
Doege did end up throwing for almost 270 yards and two touchdowns outside of his miscues. Brown totaled 85 yards on the ground from 20 carries.
Receivers Winston Wright Jr. and Reese Smith caught the touchdowns.
Defensively, senior Taijh Alston recorded the team’s only sack.
WVU Football Vs. Texas Preview
It isn’t easy winning any tilt in which you lose the turnover battle by three. If WVU has similar results against Texas, the scoreboard will probably look the same, too.
Luckily for the Mountaineers, they face Texas in the middle of a terrible losing streak. It’s lost five consecutive, including to Kansas last week by a score of 57-56.
The Longhorns’ last win came against TCU on Oct. 2.
Since then, it’s gone downhill for first-year coach Steve Sarkisian. Texas is now 4-6 overall on the year and can’t seem to stop anyone on defense.
It gave up 49 points in regulation to Kansas last Saturday and hasn’t done much better in recent weeks. Texas opponents are scoring more than 32 points per contest.
Every team it’s faced in the last seven games has scored at least 27 points. That is encouraging news for WVU’s offense, which seemed to find a rhythm in the second half at KSU.
The Longhorns’ offense is also capable of scoring.
Quarterback Casey Thompson is a dual threat who has a great option next to him in the backfield.
Thompson has over 1,900 passing yards and 27 touchdowns total against only seven interceptions.
Running back Bijan Robinson leads the rushing attack with more than 1,100 yards on the season. This places him only in third among the other successful backs within the conference, but that’s good enough for 10th in the nation.
Freshman receiver Xavier Worthy is a rising star and someone WVU needs to contain. He’s tops on Texas in receptions, yards and touchdowns, with 49 for 831 and 11 scores.
On the other side of the ball, two linebackers, DeMarvion Overshown and Luke Brockermeyer, make the majority of the tackles.
Defensive back B.J. Foster is performing well on the back end, tied for the lead in the Big 12 with three picks.
WVU Football Odds At WV Sportsbooks
It might surprise some, but WVU is laying the points at WV sportsbooks in this matchup. At DraftKings WV, it’s giving -3.5 in the spread, while its moneyline is listed at -160.
Another difference in this week’s meeting is the game total. DraftKings has it posted at 56.5, which is almost 10 points more than a week ago.
The first-half lines are working well for WVU for most games. Its point spread is set at -1.5 right now, with a moneyline of -145.
Bettors can take Texas in the first half with odds of +125.
If you’re thinking about betting on the Mountaineers, consider moving the line to an alternate spread if possible. Getting it below three points could be crucial in a tight meeting.
WVU -2.5 is available at -135, compared to -2 points at -140 through the online sportsbook.