Okay, so the magic 8-balls and crystal balls have not worked for the staff of HailWV.com the past four weeks. The Mountaineers have been having a really unpredictable three game run, making the bold predictions even more difficult to get right. So this week, the HailWV staff writers have taken a bit of a step back to go with slightly more pessimistic (some argue realistic) predictions. Let’s see who still has faith in the Mountaineers.
I can’t believe that West Virginia dropped a golden opportunity to get back on a winning streak against the Horned Frogs. The defense looked renewed and confident, well, for at least the first 58 minutes of the game. Yes the defense gave up a blood boiling late touchdown, but they should not have been put in that position. I still am at a loss for words at how poorly the offense performed down the stretch of the TCU game. WVU should have been able to pick up a first down and run the clock out. As much as the defense is held responsible for the loss, so to should the offense be held accountable. As for the special teams, I think that they have taken the title of least favorite Mountaineers unit.
If West Virginia is going to be able to pull off an upset of one of the most explosive offensive teams in the Big XII, they will need a major performance from the secondary. More over, Pat Miller will need to have the performance of his career to shut down top Cowboy target Josh Stewart. I’m going out on a limb here and predicting that Pat Miller will have 5 tackles, 4 passes defensed, and an interception. If Miller doesn’t play well, this game will be uglier than the Kansas State and Texas Tech games combined.
I know it’s foolish, but I can’t pick against the Mountaineers quite yet. I like our offense to get back in rhythm against a mediocre defense. Finally, Geno will reclaim his early season form and lead WVU to a shoot-out win in Stillwater, 48-42.
My bonus prediction is all about the special teams. The Mountaineers cannot possibly allow the poor kick protection to continue. So this week, WVU will NOT allow a blocked field goal attempt. How is that for a bold prediction?
This game is another wildcard. I really hope that the defensive improvement we saw last week continues against Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys have a much better offense than TCU. And our offense is still inconsistent. Something is up with Geno. He’s missing throws that he made earlier in the year. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has some injury that they’re not releasing. Either way, this is going to be a very tough game on the road.
There’s only one player that has been consistently producing for us on offense- Tavon Austin. He’ll have another big game, and we’re going to need it. I think he’ll bring in 12 receptions for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns.
I really want to believe we’ll win this game and believe the offense will be better, but I just don’t know. Our kicking game kills us too, and there doesn’t look to be much hope of that getting better. There’s just so much we have to improve on in order to win this game. I hope I am wrong, but objectively, I think OK ST will win a close game, 34-27.
If you read my blog, you know how I am feeling right now about the Mountaineers. I don’t know how I could pick them to win? Could they? Sure. Hell they could beat Oregon. But, I don’t see it happening. At least OK State should be similar to us talent wise so who knows. I predict poor offensive stats and a 42-32 loss. Hope I am wrong.
Here we go again…could this be the week WVU finally puts all the pieces together in all three phases of the game? Recent history shows that WVU shows up when they are least expected to.However, the Cowboys have only allowed 15.3 points per game over their last four games and head into the home matchup with the third overall passing offense in the country. The West Virginia defense looked energized last week (I do not know if this had anything to do with Patterson being on the field and DeForest going up to the box). If they can avoid the total breakdowns in coverage and maintain that same pressure on OSU’s young QB, good things could very well happen for the first time in quite a stretch.
My prediction: WVU gets the win, but it will not come with any style points. I foresee mistakes being made by both teams that will continually leave the door open until the last tick of the game clock. Look for Alston to try and grit out some yards, but Buie will get the nod more often. I believe Geno with have yet another pedestrian outing, but Tavon will explode once again(especially if they decide to kick it to him); after watching last week and hearing the interviews, I think Tavon is playing with more heart than the entire team right now, and it pains me to say that. Defensively, I look for pressure early and often. This will be a two-edged sword because OSU has a great running back in Joseph Randle, so they must remain at home and make plays.
In regards to stats: your guess is as good as mine. I’m usually spot on, especially on the defensive side of the ball, but I cannot wrap my head around this one.