The WVU Mountaineers football team struggled again this week, losing 52-14 against fifth-ranked Oklahoma. After a competitive first half, WVU was outscored 24-0 in the last two quarters and failed to cover the betting spread yet again.
This is now two straight weeks that the Mountaineers and coach Neal Brown took a beating in the second half 24-0. WVU was tied with Iowa State last week before coming up short the rest of the way.
Although many residents who bet on WVU football didn’t necessarily expect a close game, the first half did get some hopes high. Unfortunately, the team couldn’t continue its first-half momentum and let down its fans and backers at West Virginia sportsbooks.
While the defense did its job for portions of the game, the Mountaineers’ offense disappeared. Quarterback Austin Kendall showed a few nice flashes in his return to Norman, but the lack of a run game again hindered the offense significantly.
WVU only rushed for 51 yards the entire afternoon.
Even though Texas and Oklahoma are now in the rearview, the schedule does not get any easier for the boys from Morgantown. After another weekend off, they’ll travel to Baylor to take on the undefeated Bears.
Baylor will also take its 7-0 record into a bye this weekend after taking out Oklahoma State on the road Saturday.
Despite the lack of results for WVU, the WV sports betting market is doing great. The addition of online sports betting apps has reignited the industry. A lot of residents have chosen to bet through one of two online sportsbooks offered in WV:
The state continues to take in record-setting figures for both overall betting handle and revenue earned.
Let’s take a look at WVU’s latest downfall and then ahead to its Halloween battle with a ranked Baylor team.
WVU football and its second-half woes
Of course, WVU fans had an idea of what Saturday was going to look like as their side entered the contest as almost five-touchdown underdogs. However, when Kendall connected with T.J. Simmons for their second touchdown of the quarter just seconds before the half, there was a glimmer of hope WVU could pull the upset.
That disappeared quickly, as Jalen Hurts scored two more touchdowns within the first six minutes of the third quarter. With the score 42-14 and the Mountaineers offense no longer producing, the only question that remained was would WVU cover the 33-point spread.
Those hopes didn’t last long, either. Although WVU didn’t commit any turnovers, it did have a punt blocked that resulted in a touchdown midway through the third quarter.
That touchdown was the last of the game as the Mountaineers couldn’t get much of anything done on their end. Even though they won the time of possession for the game with over 33 minutes, the Mountaineers couldn’t make enough big plays when it mattered most.
WVU converted just 5 of 18 third-down attempts and totaled only 242 total yards. Oklahoma had 560 yards.
While Kendall wasn’t spectacular, he was the only player generating any offense. He finished the game with 182 passing yards, seven rushing yards, and two scores.
Obviously, the game flow forced coach Brown to pass the ball more often, but the lack of a WVU rushing attack has really hurt the offense this season. The team’s running backs were considered a strong unit heading into 2019.
Regardless of who’s playing quarterback, college football teams need to have some balance offensively to be consistent. WVU’s three leading rushers this year all average 3.6 yards or less per carry so far through seven games.
If the Mountaineers are going to salvage this season, they’ll need better game plans as well as performances from the likes of Kennedy McKoy and Leddie Brown.
WVU football predictions
The good news for the Mountaineers is that they have some time off before taking the field again. WVU won’t play this weekend but has an unusual Thursday night game on Halloween next week.
WVU will stay on the road, though, as it travels to Waco in a matchup with Baylor.
The Bears are among the surprise teams of 2019, as they’ve gotten out to an incredible 7-0 start. Although they haven’t played OU or Texas yet, the Bears sit atop of the Big 12 standings with a 4-0 conference record.
Baylor is led by quarterback Charlie Brewer and a number of other top athletes. Brewer has thrown for almost 1,900 yards and has 18 total touchdowns on the year.
His top targets consist of Denzel Mims and Tyquan Thornton. They each have over 500 yards receiving and have combined for eight scores.
The Baylor offense also has some quality in the backfield, too. Running backs John Lovett and JaMycal Hasty both average more than six yards per carry and have four rushing touchdowns.
Again, it will be a difficult task for WVU to try to slow down this Baylor attack. After only scoring 10 points in the first half of its game last week, Baylor exploded for 35 second-half points in its comeback victory.
In order to have a chance, WVU will need to not only maintain possession but capitalize on its scoring opportunities. The Mountaineers have scored only 14 points in each of their last two games and that simply isn’t going to cut it.
While this game’s odds haven’t been released by sportsbooks yet, it’s safe to say that WVU will be receiving multiple touchdowns with the point spread. We’ll update this preview once a betting line becomes available.
Week 9 WV college football betting odds
Even though WVU is off, bettors in the Mountain State can still get some betting action down on Marshall this week. The Thundering Herd are coming off a five-point road win against FAU and are looking to continue their good play of late.
Marshall hosts Western Kentucky on Saturday looking for its third win in a row.
Here are its Week 9 odds according to DraftKings and FanDuel:
|WVU - BYE
|Marshall vs. Western Kentucky