It was another difficult week for the WVU Mountaineers. After dropping a tough game against Texas, the Mountaineers lost at home again on Saturday, 38-14 to Iowa State.
The loss brings WVU’s record to an even 3-3 overall for the 2019 season.
While many might not have predicted a WVU victory, sportsbooks did think it would be much closer. Unfortunately for bettors in West Virginia, the Mountaineers failed to cover the point spread for the second straight week.
WV sportsbooks had the line set at WVU +10 points.
The Cyclones have a quality team, but an early injury to starting quarterback Austin Kendall made this contest almost impossible to win for the Mountaineers. Jack Allison was forced to play the remainder of the afternoon when Kendall went down on the team’s first series.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Mountaineers. They’ll travel to Norman this week for a battle with one of the best teams in college football in the Oklahoma Sooners.
OU is one of the most successful programs in the history of college football and has been a powerhouse lately as well. The Sooners have won the Big 12 Conference four years in a row while making multiple College Football Playoff appearances.
Head coach Lincoln Riley is one of the top coaches in the nation and has garnered plenty of interest from NFL teams. Oklahoma’s last two quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) have each won the Heisman Trophy and been selected with the first overall pick in the draft.
Even though the Mountaineers haven’t been helping their gambling backers of late, the WV sports betting market has been flourishing.
Besides betting at one of the three active retail locations, bettors can now wager at one of West Virginia’s two mobile sports betting apps:
With a tough game ahead, let’s examine WVU’s last performance and provide a betting preview for its Week 8 clash with Oklahoma.
WVU Football Disappoints
After showing some promise against one of the top-ranked teams in Texas, this week against Iowa State turned out to be a disappointment. WVU was forced to change its entire game plan once Kendall got injured early in the first quarter.
Although this was obviously not the ideal start, the Mountaineers showed a lot of fight. They led after the first quarter thanks to a Tykee Smith interception return for a touchdown.
The team also displayed some perseverance when they put together a 14-play drive to close out the half with a touchdown. Allison led WVU 76 yards in just over six minutes and capped it with a nine-yard score to T.J. Simmons.
With the score knotted at 14 points each, the Mountaineers and bettors in the Mountain State were feeling good about their fortunes. Then in the second half, everything went wrong.
Iowa State scored 24 unanswered points en route to its fourth victory of the year.
Despite Kendall’s injury stealing the headlines, the true story of the game was each team’s ground game. Simply, ISU was able to run the ball and the Mountaineers could not.
Freshman Breece Hall led Iowa State with 132 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. WVU didn’t have nearly the same success.
As a whole, the Mountaineers rushed for just 41 yards on 28 attempts. When you have an inexperienced quarterback leading, he needs some type of assistance from his running backs. Allison received none.
Even with the loss, Allison played fairly well in his first extended action of the year. He completed 18 of 24 passes for 140 yards.
Coach Neal Brown recognized the effort he saw from his junior quarterback. According to the Associated Press, Brown said:
“I think it’s tough when a backup quarterback has to come into a game and play. In college football, you don’t get as many reps. I thought under the circumstances he did an OK job.”
The loss was WVU’s second straight in Morgantown. It will now be on the road the following two weeks, starting with Saturday in Oklahoma.
WVU Football Predictions
There are certain games on the team’s schedules each year that they know are going to be extremely difficult no matter what. This is one of them for WVU.
The Oklahoma Sooners have proven to be one of the best teams again in 2019 and they’ll host WVU as the fifth-ranked squad in the nation Saturday.
They’re led by dynamic quarterback and Heisman hopeful Jalen Hurts. The Alabama transfer has been nothing short of spectacular so far this season. He’s thrown for over 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns while rushing for 630 yards and eight additional scores.
Slowing down Hurts would be ideal, but it’s truly not that easy. Even though he was a quality player with the Crimson Tide, Hurts has excelled (as most quarterbacks do) under his first year with coach Riley.
The Mountaineers’ biggest goal should be to contain the huge plays down the field. Oklahoma’s offense is as explosive as it gets and it features plenty of guys who can score in seconds.
Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb already has more than 600 yards receiving including 10 touchdowns in OU’s first six games. He is lightning fast and will look to go over the top of WVU’s secondary any chance he gets.
If the Mountaineers can limit some of the big plays, they could potentially get lucky with a few stops or turnovers. Their offense is going to need every possession they can get in order to stay in this game.
As far as WVU’s offense is concerned, coach Brown isn’t sure who his starting quarterback will be. He told reporters on Monday that Kendall is questionable to play Saturday.
Kendall will definitely be upset if he’s unable to go, as OU is where he was forced to transfer from before the start of the year.
According to the WV MetroNews, Brown said:
“We’ll go out this afternoon and he’ll throw a little bit. I think he’ll be questionable for Saturday. It will depend on how much work he is able to do.”
Hopefully, WVU has its starter ready to go, or else this game could get out of hand early. While it probably doesn’t have a real shot at winning outright, a Kendall-led unit could help WVU bettors and the Mountaineers cover the spread.
WVU Betting Odds
Here are the latest odds for college football week 8 for the WVU Mountaineers and Marshall Thundering Herd. The odds are found at two active online sportsbooks in West Virginia: DraftKings and FanDuel. (Last updated on Oct. 17, 2019, with current WVU football and Marshall odds):
|WVU vs. Oklahoma
|Marshall vs. Florida Atlantic