November 3, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back Shawne Alston (20) runs with the ball against the TCU Horned Frogs during the fourth quarter at Milan Puskar Field. The TCU Horned Frogs won 39-38 in two overtimes. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Bold Predictions: Kansas

The final game of the inaugural 2012 Big XII slate is upon us. West Virginia will send out their seniors with one last home game against the Jayhawks of Kansas. The match-up with the 1-10 fighting Weis’ brings the Mountaineers a chance to debut for a better mid-level bowl game. Fresh off the heels of an ISU win, the Mountaineers are looking to put up big numbers and the HailWV staff is predicting some gaudy stats for this week’s game.

Ken Durbin:

One last game for some WVU players to lock up high honors against the Jayhawks. Tavon Austin, having recently been named AFCA All-American, is pursuing a consensus All-American honor and will need a big final performance to give him a solid shot at locking down his consensus nod. Equally important, Stedman Bailey is in need of a huge statistical game to give him a chance at taking home the Biletnikoff trophy. Bailey trails Lee and Williams statistically in receptions and receiving yards. While leading the nation in receiving touchdowns by an overwhelming margin should give him the inside track to the award, he will need another Baylor-like stat line to lock down the trophy.

With that in mind, I think that WVU’s dynamic duo, Bailey and Austin, will rack up the statistics necessary to achieve their high honors. Since the Mountaineers are facing their least challenging opponent of the season with pride and bowl placement on the line, I expect WVU to take Kansas to the woodshed.

Tavon will go for 350 all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns. Not to be outdone, I think Stedman Bailey will own the Kansas secondary to the tune of 12 receptions for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns.

WVU dominates KU from start to finish, 63-31.

November 17, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receivers Tavon Austin (1) and Stedman Bailey (3) gesture as they await a kick-off from the Oklahoma Sooners during the first quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Oklahoma Sooners won 50-49. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Brandon Miller:

When I looked ahead to this game at the beginning of the season, I hoped it would be the game we needed to win to lock up a national championship bid, or at the very least win #10. The season certainly hasn’t went the way we all planned, but we have a great chance to finish the regular season on a high note this weekend. After one of the worst collapses I’ve ever seen by a team, we’ve started to recover. We should have won games against TCU, OK St, and OK, and finally put it all together and won last week against Iowa State. Now, we face probably our weakest opponent of the year in Kansas.

Charlie Weiss’s first year as a Jayhawk has been downright dreadful. The only thing they do well is run the ball (19th rated running attack in the country), and their passing game is dreadful. This might actually be a good matchup for our defense, as our run defense is not terrible. It’ll really be interesting to see who is more mediocre, the Kansas offense or WVU defense. And our offense vs. the Kansas defense should be laughable. Their defense is almost as bad as ours. Geno, Tavon, and company are in for a big sendoff.

This game belongs to the seniors. Geno Smith has earned his place as the most prolific passer in WVU history (as of now… I have a feeling in 3 or 4 years we’ll be saying the same thing about Ford Childress). When he’s in the zone, there’s no one better. Tavon Austin is going to be the most missed though. He’s the most elusive and quick player in the country, college or pros. And he tries, every play, every reception or carry, he’s giving 100% and is a threat to go to the end zone all the time. I can’t even recreate what he does on video games- he’s that unreal. I really hate that this season has went this way for him- he and Geno should be 1 & 2 in the Heisman battle, but our record will likely keep them both from being a finalist. Hopefully the coaches find the next Tavon Austin and bring him to WVU, because we need players like him.

Onto predictions- Kansas won’t be stopping our offense much. I think we could run the ball all over the Kansas defense, but Holgorsen will make sure Geno gets monster numbers in his final game. I’m going to go really bold and say Geno throws for 550 yards and 5 TDs. Stedman Bailey, who may or may not be playing his last game in Morgantown as well, will contribute 13 catches for 250 yards and 2 TDs. Shawne Alston will run all over the Jayhawk defense and go for 125 yards and 2 TDs. And finally, Tavon Austin will have a another amazing game to finish out his career, going for 450 total yards and 3 TDs. I’ve been burned twice when predicting the defense would turn in a good game, soI refuse to do so this week, but I still think we will win big. WVU 70, Kansas 34.

Alan Searles:

We are finally bowl eligible which means at this point we are positioning for a better position. How embarrassing would it be if we gave Kansas their first league win since the Turner days? I think we will come out motivated tough. Dana’s comments about Weiss tell me he doesn’t like him so let’s bring on. We will still make too many mental mistakes to blow them out, but Stedman and Tavon account for 300 yards receiving and 100 rushing and the Eers win 35-31.

Patrick Pishko:

I think we are going to beat the hell out of them. They only run the ball and our defensive strength is against the run. The key will be to shut down the run and force them to throw. And Kansas doesn’t throw too well.

Don’t look for much out of Tavon Austin in the return game because Kansas does have good special teams. But I think the thunder and lightning combination of Alston and Austin will strike against the Jayhawks. Geno may be an on-looker in this game.

I’m predicting that Geno Smith goes 15-20 for 260 yards and 2 touchdowns. Defensively, I think Karl Joseph will make 13 tackles and 1 forced fumble.

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