Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 football game in our Oklahoma vs. West Virginia preview and prediction.
11 a.m. CST, Saturday October 19th, 2019, Memorial Stadium, Norman Oklahoma
TV: FOX (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt)
Radio: Sooner Sports Network (Toby Rowland, Merv Johnson); Mountaineer Sports Network (Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace); Sirius 98, XM 199
Opening Line: OU -33
Fun Fact: OU is the only program West Virginia has not defeated since joining the Big 12 prior to the 2012 season. The Sooners are 7-0 against the Mountaineers during that span and have scored at least 44 points in six of those contests (average score of 47-32 in the seven games), including each of the last five meetings (average score of 53-34).
Who’s it going to be? Head coach Neal Brown listed Austin Kendall as questionable after taking a hit to the chest early in the game against Iowa State. If it’s Jack Allison on Saturday, he will need to perform better than he did against Iowa State when he finished 18 of 24 for 140 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The Stills Brothers
These two are a bright spot in an otherwise mediocre season for the Mountaineers. Darius Stills is ranked No. 4 in the Big 12 and No. 21 nationally in tackles for loss per game (1.4), and Dante Stills is tied for No. 6 in the conference (1.08). The two are tied for No. 3 in the Big 12 and No. 44 nationally in sacks per game (0.67). OU’s offensive line did a very good job handling Texas last week, but these two bring a different element to the game with their speed and strength combination.
QB Jalen Hurts
Sure, he’s the obvious choice, but it’s because he’s not just the quarterback, but also the team’s leading rusher by a wide margin at over 100 yards per game. He’s third in rushing yards per game in the Big 12 behind just Chuba Hubbard and Darius Anderson. And for Lincoln Riley, these are mostly designed runs by Hurts, not a guy bailing after his first read isn’t there. He’s a bruising runner who can work between the tackles as well as any in the country and it’s added a new element to OU’s offense, which averages 9.6 yards per play, well above Alabama’s second-ranked 8.1 ypp.
DL Neville Gallimore
Gallimore is coming off his best game of the season against Texas when he had two sacks, and four tackles, becoming a constant in the UT backfield. He’s also forced two fumbles this season and has five tackles for loss. In his final season with the Sooners he’s really blossoming, as he’s match last year’s sack total and is a half tackle for loss away from matching last year’s numbers in that category. Now, he gets to go up against a shaky WVU offensive line.
WVU needs to win the turnover battle to have any chance in this game. It’s something they haven’t done well this season (-4 TO margin, 8th in the Big 12), but will need to try and play as clean a game as possible to win. OU was turnover prone last week in the red zone where Hurts fumbled and threw an interception. The Mountaineers will need to get the ball out of the hands quickly for whoever is playing QB this weekend. That means quick passes, screen plays, up-tempo drives to try and keep the OU defense on its heels. Texas could never do that consistently last week.
The Sooners should try to pound a WVU defense that gave up 130+ rushing yards (over 5.0 ypc) to Breece Hall last week in his biggest game of his freshman season. OU’s 7.7 ypc is ridiculous and is over 2 ypc more than the second team in the Big 12 (OSU at 5.6). The Mountaineers offense is going to have its struggles getting going and if OU can just wear down WVU mentally and physically from the start, it will be the kind of game that will see the Sooners playing its back ups in the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma 45, West Virginia 17
The Sooners won’t suffer a hangover in this one. The Sooners have won 19 of their last 20 games the week after playing Texas. The lone loss — to Kansas State in 2014 — was by one point (31-30). Now it’s a WVU team coming to town with an underrated defense, but a back up quarterback and an offense that only scored seven points last week against Iowa State. If OU’s front seven plays anything like it did last week against Texas, then the results could really get scary considering WVU’s offensive line is a semblance of Texas’ unit. The Sooners will roll and remain undefeated.
Powered by RedCircle
**We now have FREE Big 12 Forums here at Heartland College Sports. Go sign up here and join our conversation! **