WVU football lost a disappointing game against Texas last week, falling 38-20. The score isn’t indicative of the poor performance, as the team trailed by 28 on multiple occasions.
The Mountaineers look to get back on track this Thursday against Baylor, where West Virginia sportsbooks show them as a small underdog.
Technically, this past week counts as a bye on the WVU schedule, even though the team is gearing up for another early contest this week. Perhaps the break will do the Mountaineers some good following an awful showing in Austin.
Texas scored the first four touchdowns of the game and took control with a 28-0 lead in the second quarter. WVU got one score back right before the start of the half with a long drive that covered 83 yards.
The offense didn’t manage to score enough throughout, as it added only two touchdowns in the fourth. This removed some of the sting from the blowout, but the tilt was already out of hand.
Let’s examine this latest defeat more closely and look ahead to the Mountaineers’ next matchup, with Baylor.
Mountaineers lose to Texas, drop to 2-3
WVU struggled out of the gate, and it never really made it a game last Saturday. Before you knew it, Texas had put up four touchdowns in a row after punting on its first possession.
WVU showed some life with one before the break; however, that was the closest it would get until the final few minutes.
The Mountaineers punted or turned it over on downs on six of their first seven times with the ball. They produced a total of over 300 yards of offense, but 140 of them came from the final two drives when the game was nearly secured.
On the other side, the defense once again wasn’t great. It surrendered almost 450 yards overall, while not forcing any turnovers.
Quarterback JT Daniels didn’t connect as efficiently with his receivers in this one. He threw for 253 yards on 29 of 48 passing, to go with one touchdown.
As far as the rushing attack goes, sophomore Justin Johnson Jr. led the way against Texas. He totaled 42 yards on 10 carries, with Tony Mathis Jr. contributing 24 yards. Both backs found the end zone.
Unfortunately, running back CJ Donaldson suffered a concussion in the third quarter, limiting his role. He finished with just four carries for nine yards and is already ruled out of the upcoming game with Baylor.
Three Mountaineer receivers caught at least seven passes, as junior Bryce Ford-Wheaton got back to his dominant ways. He hauled in eight receptions for 93 yards to extend his team’s leads in both categories for the season (35 for 412).
Defensively, linebacker Lee Kpogba made his presence felt again. He topped all other Mountaineers with seven total tackles and a sack.
WVU football vs. Baylor preview
Of course, the lopsided defeat turned into bad news for WVU backers at WV sportsbooks. The Mountaineers were seeing about +7.5 in the point spread entering the contest. The loss drops their record against the spread to 3-2 this season.
WVU will have the opportunity to change this narrative with a Thursday night meeting with Baylor. Currently, DraftKings Sportsbook WV lists the Mountaineers receiving +3.5 points at home, with a moneyline of +135. Baylor is available at -155 to win the game.
The Bears come into this one with a 3-2 record, including a 1-1 mark within the conference. They took down Iowa State on the road by seven, before falling to Oklahoma State by 11 in their most recent showing.
It should be noted that Baylor’s only other loss came against BYU, which was ranked as high as No. 12 earlier this season. So, while there isn’t a whole lot of attention on Baylor right now, it’s a capable team WVU must be prepared for.
Baylor was so highly regarded at the beginning of the year that it started the season ranked 10th overall. It moved up to No. 9 after its first win but has since dropped out of the top 25 with two losses on the record.
Sophomore quarterback Blake Shapen leads the Baylor offense into action. He’s completing over 69% of his passing attempts in 2022, with slightly over 1,100 yards recorded thus far. Shapen is responsible for 11 total touchdowns against just three interceptions.
The Baylor ground game goes through freshman Richard Reese. The running back accounts for exactly 400 yards on the season, to go along with seven rushing scores. He’s averaging 5.6 yards per carry through five tilts.
The Bears’ offense also features a solid wide receiving corps. Sophomore Monaray Baldwin tops the group in yardage (261) and touchdowns (3), despite placing third on the team in receptions.
Both tight end Ben Sims and wideout Hal Presley contribute often.
Defensively, safety Al Walcott paces Baylor as the only player with at least 30 tackles.
WVU football odds at West Virginia betting apps
WV sportsbooks offer lots of additional ways to wager on the WVU football game every week.
A popular alternative to the regular point spread is the halftime line. At the moment, DraftKings is posting the spread at Baylor -2.5, with a moneyline of -145. The online sportsbook is providing WVU odds of +125 to hold a lead after two quarters.
The game total for this week is set at 54.5 points, almost eight points lower than where it was in the game with Texas. DraftKings positioned the total for just the first half at 27 points.
More odds, including some game and player props, will go up as Thursday approaches.