Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Texas vs. West Virginia preview and prediction.
2:30 p.m. Central Time, Saturday October 5th, 2019, Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, West Virginia.
West Virginia Radio: Mountaineer IMG
Texas Radio: Longhorn Radio Network
Spread: Texas (-10.5)
West Virginia Fun Fact: West Virginia hasn’t lost a Big 12 home opener since the 2015 season.
Texas Fun Fact: Since 2010, Texas has only started off conference play in two seasons. Both of those have been under Tom Herman (2017 and 2018).
The Offensive Line
I know it’s boring to talk about but sometimes (Or a lot of times) these big guys up front get no love. The Texas offensive line (Samuel Cosmi, Parker Braun, Zack Shackelford, Junior Angilau and Derek Kerstetter) have been doing a good job opening running lanes and protecting QB Sam Ehlinger. In fact, this is probably the best offensive line for Texas in the last seven plus years. They will play a crucial part helping establish the running game on the road.
NT Keondre Coburn
With Josh Sills out of the season at guard for the Mountaineers, this could give Keondre an even better chance at causing some serious problems for the West Virginia offense. Coburn is already a heck of a player without any help given so I am very interested to see how the Mountaineer offensive line not only handles Keondre, but the rest of the unit as well.
QB Austin Kendall
While Austin Kendall hasn’t been lighting up the stat sheet, he has shown flashes at times that he can be a good quarterback. His completion percentage is above 65% and it doesn’t turn the football over too much either. Sure, he makes a mistake here and there, but I feel like he has shaken off some of the rust from the first few games this season. If the Mountaineers hope to win this game, then a big performance will be needed from Austin Kendall.
LB Josh Chandler
I know you will probably call me out for saying this but go ahead. Coming out of the 2018 class, Josh Chandler was my favorite player the Mountaineers signed that year. I knew it would take a couple years, but he had some strong abilities to play linebacker that I thought would translate well in the Big 12. The only thing I was wrong about is that it didn’t take years for Josh to make an impact. It took only one year and now in year two, he leads his team in tackles through his first few games.
While Texas still has some depth issues at running back, I want to see this Texas offensive line get a good push up front in this game. For the Longhorns to win in Morgantown, a strong running game will be needed, and I want to see if the line can help do that. Also, what will be the status of wide receiver Collin Johnson come game time? If Johnson can’t play, expect Brennan Eagles, Devin Duvernay and Jake Smith to step up. On defense, Texas needs to try and dominate the line of scrimmage. They have the guys to do it with Ta’Quon Graham, Malcolm Roach and Keondre Coburn.
I still not sure what to make of this football team. After having a rough first two games, West Virginia looked good in a win against NC State but then struggled a little bit with Kansas. My question is, which West Virginia team will show up on Saturday? Offensively, West Virginia needs to get that ground game going. I know the offensive line has some injuries, but I feel like the Mountaineers really haven’t been able to use their talented running backs a whole lot this season. On defense, they better buckle their chin straps to try and slow down this Texas offense led by Sam Ehlinger.
Texas: 34 West Virginia: 24
While the Mountaineers may keep it close behind a rocking home crowd, in the end I have a hard time seeing this defense slow down the Texas offense. On the flipside, I haven’t been too crazy about the Mountaineers offense this season and I feel like Texas will be able to dominate up front and get after Austin Kendall in this game. The final score may be closer than expected but I still think Texas will come out of Morgantown with the win.
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