This week’s follow- up on the HailWV bold predictions is a little delayed as the staff had a difficult time writing while in transit back from Texas. Honestly, it was difficult to leave that town. The smokey barbeque of Texas is more addictive for guys than pumpkin spiced lattes are for women. Once the brisket gets its hooks into you, there is no escape. Of course the barbeque probably tasted better due to a big Mountaineer victory. But now it’s back to reality and time to face our predictions.
Ken Durbin’s Predictions: I like the offensive line to keep the pass rush minimal, allowing only one sack, and powering the Mountaineers offense to 550 total yards. I also like Stedman Bailey to come up big again this week. Look for Bailey to reel in 10 passes for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns.
I ventured that the offensive line would have been key to WVU’s chances in Texas. The offensive line struggled against one of the top pass rushing combos in the country. Okafor and Jeffcoat got the better of Spain and Eger on multiple occasions, sacking Geno twice for two fumbles and a questionable touchdown. The problem with the Longhorns defensive scheme was that they were clueless as to how to shut down Buie’s punishing ground attack. He was able to gash the defense for 207 yards on the ground, giving WVU’s offense more balance than ever before under Dana Holgorsen.
That new balance worked well against the Longhorns, keeping West Virginia just a step ahead of Texas in the scoring race. The Mountaineers offense did not click as well as I thought it would, only mustering a tame 460 yards of total offense. I’d say that was pretty close for a prediction.
In terms of the game score, I claim victory this week. I came within one point of the final score with the Mountaineers pulling off a 48-45 vicotry where I had predicted a 48-44 win. Can your magic 8-ball do that?
Brandon Miller’s Predictions: Isaiah Bruce is going to have another big performance and finish with 12 total tackles and a forced fumble. Tavon Austin will go for 200 total yards and score 3 TDs.
My predictions were right on the money. The defense improved and the secondary, particularly in the 4th quarter, looked better. We definitely have a lot of improving yet to do though. Isaiah Bruce finished up with 10 total tackles and a fumble recovery, and probably would have had more tackles had he not been knocked out of the game for a little bit.
The Longhorn D was the toughest test for our offense so far this year, but we still thrived. Tavon Austin had a heck of a game and his speed gave Texas fits. Tavon finished with 222 total yards (102 receiving, 114 on returns, 6 rushing) and one touchdown. His leaping catch on third down in the 4th quarter was one of the most important of the game.
I predicted 45-41, final was 48-45… can’t get much closer than that.
Alan Searles’ Prediction: Look for typically big days from Stedman and Austin, but if we get down, this is the time where we may see some wrinkles. Keep your eyes on guys like Thompson to have a new gadget play. Also look for a defensive touchdown off a David Ash pick.
I was a few points shy from the total as I expected a slower pace, but was pretty close on the point range. My prediction cited big days from Tavon and Stedman along with a breakout game from an unheralded player (not a terribly difficult prediction, I know). I was spot on with this comment as Buie stole the show. The rest of the staff expected Texas to push us towards running the ball and boy were they right. Unfortunately for Texas, we said “Ok thank you, we will run the ball then.” If you are an opposing defensive coordinator, now what?
I am still waiting for that big day from Thompson and a bit more consistency from jd woods. Thompson has gotten the play time but hasnt been a major target. JD had a couple good opportunities Saturday but couldn’t quite make the big play.
Patrick Pishko’s Prediction: I look for WVU to try and establish the running game early. Alston: 70 yds rushing, 2 TD. Garvin: 2 sacks; 2 TFL; 8 tackles.
Ah, finally back and settled in after a whirlwind of a trip; I must say, I still cannot believe I have been able to witness, in-person, victories in both an Orange Bowl and at Texas within the same calendar year. Once again, my prediction for an offensive player fell flat on its face; however, I was not wrong in my belief of how crucial the running game was to this latest victory. I knew Texas would try to utilize the speed from their amazing DE’s to throw Geno out of his rhythm. In doing so, this took the element of containment out of the Texas gameplan, leaving the door, or center of the line rather, wide open. Joe Madsen did a great job opening lanes for Buie in this game.
I predicted that Alston would rack up at least 70 yards and 2 TD’s. Once again, he was not in the lineup. The Big 12 does not require injury reports so a lot of what we find out comes as game time surprises. I also predicted a big game for Terence Garving; he ended up producing 7 total tackles, which I had anticipated a total of 8. He failed to register any of the 2 sacks or tackles for loss that I believed he would accumulate. The pressure came in the form of LB Josh Francis in this matchup.