The WVU Mountaineers have already played in three games decided by six or fewer points. Unfortunately, Saturday’s affair at Oklahoma didn’t finish in their favor, as they fell to the Sooners 16-13 by a last-second field goal.
While WVU football fans would have signed up for this result prior to the game, this one was entirely disappointing in the end. The team led throughout the contest and never actually trailed until the clock hit zero.
The game was a defensive struggle for the most part, with both offenses failing to produce.
WVU and OU combined for eight punts and a couple of turnovers in a game that didn’t feature that many possessions.
Like several other tilts so far this season, the Mountaineers’ offense stalled in the second half. They put up just three points and allowed OU to stay within reach.
Besides the game against Long Island, WVU’s scored a total of just nine points in second halves this year. The offense didn’t generate a touchdown in those six quarters against Maryland, Virginia Tech and OU.
The silver lining in Saturday’s defeat is that WVU backers at West Virginia sportsbooks earned an easy win.
It received at least +17 in the point spread depending when you wagered on the game. Of course, the Mountaineers just narrowly missed taking the game outright and rewarding bettors even more.
Their moneyline odds were around +550 before the game started.
Let’s take a closer look at the missed opportunity in Norman and how WVU matches up with Texas Tech this weekend.
WVU Football Odds At WV Sportsbooks
Mountaineers Can’t Close Out Sooners
Head coach Neal Brown and the rest of the staff certainly have a good plan offensively coming into games.
For the fourth consecutive week, the Mountaineers turned their opening possession into a touchdown.
Saturday night’s drive might have been the most impressive. The Mountaineers punched in a score after going 75 yards in 17 plays. They took over nine minutes off the clock and grabbed the early advantage.
While it created plenty of optimism, WVU was unable to score another touchdown all night.
The only two other times it moved the ball, it netted field goals from Casey Legg. Both of these drives got inside of Oklahoma’s 10-yard line; however, the offense couldn’t break through when it mattered most.
The drive late in the third quarter was especially painful.
WVU had a second-and-goal situation from just a yard out, but a false start penalty backed it up five yards.
Quarterback Garrett Greene rushed for two yards on second, then Jarret Doege’s pass attempt on third fell incomplete. Not getting in the end zone was crucial here.
The offense totaled only 25 yards after that point.
Oklahoma capitalized with two long drives that allowed it to tie and win the game. Spencer Rattler and the offense had possessions involving 16 plays and 14 plays to snag their closest win of the campaign.
OU moves to 4-0 and remains atop the Big 12 Conference. WVU is now 2-2 and will look to post its first conference victory this week at home.
Doege was efficient at passing, hitting on around 69% of attempts, but the majority of them were right around the line of scrimmage. He finished with just 160 yards and an interception.
The OU defense collapsed the field and made things difficult for WVU up front. The Mountaineers gained just 67 yards total on the ground. Leddie Brown (15 for 56) and Greene (5 for 15) led the team in rushing, despite both averaging fewer than 3.8 yards per carry.
Bryce Ford-Wheaton and Winston Wright Jr. had good showings, combining for 15 catches for over 155 yards.
WVU Vs. Texas Tech Preview
Both sides of the ball should see more success this Saturday against Texas Tech. Despite its 3-1 record, WVU enters this game favored, and for good reason.
Tech won its first three meetings of the season but found a different result this past week. It got doubled up by Texas by an embarrassing score of 70-35.
While the Red Raiders should look more competitive than that, it’s clear they aren’t in the same class as the conference’s best.
That should be great news for a WVU defense that has picked up where it left off last year, for the most part. The unit ranks 25th in the country in points allowed per game with just 16.8.
Seniors Sean Mahone and Josh Chandler-Semedo each recorded at least 10 tackles this week, while the team registered four sacks. Taijh Alston accounted for two more against OU, making that 3.5 sacks over the last two weeks.
The defense will face an opponent that’s scored some points this season, though. Texas Tech has put up at least 28 points in every game, including 54 against FIU.
However, it will be without its starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. Junior Tyler Shough broke his collarbone and is sidelined for more than a month.
Obviously, that doesn’t help the Red Raiders going forward, but there is reason for hope. Senior Henry Colombi stepped in against the Longhorns and performed quite well.
He completed 17 of 23 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns in relief.
Even though Tech lost a QB, it could regain a running back this week. Sophomore Tahj Brooks missed last week with a leg injury but could return this Saturday.
He’s averaging a ridiculous 8.1 yards per carry en route to 284 yards and four touchdowns through three games.
Betting On WVU-Texas Tech
The Mountaineers come back home to Morgantown for the game beginning at 3:30 p.m. EST.
According to DraftKings West Virginia, they’re laying -7 in the point spread, and that could increase even more. The Mountaineers’ odds for the spread currently sit at -120, compared to Texas Tech receiving the +7 at +100.
If you’re looking to take WVU on the moneyline, it’s available at -305, whereas Tech is listed with odds of +240.
This week’s game total remains similar to the majority of WVU contests. DraftKings has set it at 56 points right now.
Those considering the Mountaineers should certainly think about the line for the opening half. WVU is undoubtedly better at scoring early in games and is giving just -4 for the first two quarters.
Bettors can put action down on WVU’s moneyline for the first half at -235 or the Red Raiders at +190.