The WVU Mountaineers see early-season success as they beat the Baylor Bears, 27-21, in double overtime on Saturday.
The two sides played a surprisingly defensive game, with the largest lead only reaching seven points.
WVU nearly won in regulation, but Baylor scored with just under two minutes remaining to tie it up. Quarterback Charlie Brewer hit Josh Fleeks for a 34-yard touchdown to cap a four-play drive that only took 36 seconds.
After the Mountaineers scored in the first possession of overtime, the defense had an opportunity to close it out again.
Instead, the Bears scored on their first play with the ball. Sophomore Ben Sims caught his only pass of the game and took it 25 yards for the equalizing touchdown.
To start the next overtime period, Baylor started on offense first. This time, the Mountaineers’ defense did not come up short.
Looking for another quick score, Brewer took a deep shot into the end zone on first down again.
WVU’s Tykee Smith made the play of the game, making an acrobatic interception in the back of the end zone. He caught the ball over his shoulder and was just able to tap one foot down to complete the play in bounds.
With the turnover, the Mountaineers simply needed a field goal to end the game, but the offense was too good.
An 8-yard pass and a Baylor penalty got WVU down to the 12. From there, Leddie Brown carried it three straight times and punched it in for the winning score.
The WV sports betting crowd walked away happy, once again.
At one point last week, West Virginia sportsbooks had WVU receiving +3 in the point spread, with a moneyline of +125.
WVU football moves to 2-1
Even though the WVU defense needed a few chances to close the door, it was the reason the team won the game.
Head coach Neal Brown’s defensive side only allowed 256 total yards and 15 first downs.
This is pretty efficient against an offense that’s considered one of the better options in the Big 12 Conference. Baylor scored 47 points in its opener against Kansas.
The Mountaineer defense also snagged another interception prior to overtime.
By holding Baylor in check, the offense only needed to make a few plays in order to win the game.
Quarterback Jarret Doege’s unit actually set the tone early with a great drive. In the Mountaineers’ only score of the first half, they went 70 yards in 15 plays to take a 7-0 lead.
The QB ran for the final yard to give WVU the lead early on.
It wasn’t Doege’s best game, though. Despite completing 30-of-42 passes, he only threw for 211 yards, while adding two interceptions of his own.
Besides a lot of short passes, junior running back Leddie Brown paced the WVU offense.
He rushed 27 times for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Brown was also a factor catching balls out of the backfield.
He recorded four receptions for an additional 31 yards, which was good enough for second on the team.
Through three games now, Brown seems solidified as WVU’s lead back. He’s got 320 rushing yards, to go along with four touchdowns and a 5.1 yards-per-carry average.
Sophomore wideout Sam James was solid once again in the passing game. He caught eight passes for 66 yards to lead all other receivers.
WVU vs. Kansas preview
The Mountaineers have another bye week before playing their next game against the Kansas Jayhawks. It will take place on Oct. 17 in Morgantown.
Unlike the first two Big-12 matchups of the year, WVU will be a favorite heading into this tilt. KU is projected to finish last in the conference, according to odds at WV sportsbooks.
The Jayhawks will enter next week’s contest with an 0-3 record. They fell to Coastal Carolina at home in the first game of the year and followed that up with two lopsided defeats in the conference.
Kansas lost by 33 at Baylor, then lost by 40 going up against Oklahoma State at home on Saturday.
Based on these results from similar opponents on the schedule, WVU should be in decent shape for this game.
The Mountaineers finished with a -8 total point differential against Baylor and OSU, whereas Kansas was -73.
Beyond knowing where they stand, having game film of the Jayhawks going against these same teams will be helpful for the coaching staff. Of course, Kansas has the same benefit.
Since the game isn’t for another two weeks, sportsbooks don’t have any odds posted just yet. When they do, it’s safe to say that WVU will be a sizable favorite.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Mountaineers have about a 94% chance of coming out victorious.
While Kansas has struggled to score, it hasn’t been able to stop the run, either.
In its game against OSU, the Jayhawks surrendered almost 300 yards on the ground.
Chuba Hubbard totaled 145 yards on 20 touches, and Dezmon Jackson added 91 yards on 10 carries.
This bodes well for the WVU rushing attack of Brown and junior Alec Sinkfield. Together, they should be able to control the time of possession for the Mountaineers and make things easy on their quarterback.
Betting on WVU football
Those looking to bet on the game will have to wait until lines are released sometime later in the week. Once they are, you can put some action down at any of the online sports betting apps available in the state.
At the moment, you’re able to bet on updated futures odds for which team will win each conference. According to DraftKings, the following are the odds to win the Big 12:
- Oklahoma +150
- Texas +275
- Oklahoma State +350
- Iowa State +400
- TCU +1000
- Baylor +1600
- WVU +1600
- Kansas State +1800
- Texas Tech +20000
- Kansas +75000