The WVU football team is an underdog in its bowl game against Utah. That’s not to say the Mountaineers can’t pull off a victory in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. in the historic Cotton Bowl. This game is obviously not THE Cotton Bowl (which will be played on Jan 1 between Ohio State and USC) but it is still a grand opportunity for the WVU football team to get a quality win against a Power 5 opponent.
Utah was 6-6 in the regular season with wins against Colorado, North Dakota, BYU, San Jose State, Arizona and UCLA. The Utes fell to Stanford, USC, Arizona State, Oregon, Washington State and Washington.
West Virginia is coming into the game at 7-5 with wins against East Carolina, Delaware State, Kansas, Texas Tech, Baylor, Iowa State and Kansas State. The WVU football team lost to Virginia Tech, TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas and Oklahoma. The Mountaineers lost two-straight games to end the season so finishing on a high note would be a nice accomplishment heading into 2018.
Utah is favored in this game, according to oddsshark.com. The Mountaineers are getting seven points and the projected final score is 33-28 on the site. Four of the seven experts on CBSsports.com, however, have picked West Virginia to beat Utah, straight up. If nothing else, this will be an entertaining game for both fanbases, as well as the neutral fan looking for a college football fix on the day after Christmas.
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The biggest thing that will hurt the WVU football team is the loss of starting quarterback Will Grier. He was injured in the game against Texas and the Mountaineers didn’t stand a chance without him against Oklahoma. Chris Chugunov will get the start with the odds stacked against him. The saving grace, though, is that he gets to throw to a stable of talented wide receivers. Gary Jennings, Ka’Raun White, Marcus Simms and Biletnikoff Award finalist David Sills will help him out, for sure.
Running back Kennedy McKoy will also be looking to make an impact. He is now the starting running back with Justin Crawford forgoing the chance to play in the bowl game. This is McKoy’s job for next year, too, so getting the experience will certainly help the Mountaineers’ offense in 2018.
The national television audience will be tuned into ESPN for this effort. The fans in attendance, though not expected to be big, will be treated to cloudy skies and a high temperature of 40 degrees, according to weather.com.
WVU football head coach Dana Holgorsen will be looking to win his third bowl game. He has already lost three and is always searching for an upset win in his head coaching career.