Big 12 Previews

West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Oklahoma State

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match up in our West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State preview and prediction.

Game Info

3:30 ET, Saturday, November 7th, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia; Milan Puskar Stadium

TV: ESPN (Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky)

Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker), Sirius 158/XM 199; West Virginia Sports Network (Tony Caridi); Sirius 136/XM 203

Spread: Oklahoma State -3

Fun Fact: The last meeting took place in Stillwater with Oklahoma State winning 27-13 in 2020. The Cowboys lead the series, 8-4, including six straight wins. OSU has a 3-2 series lead in games played in Morgantown.

 

Key Players

Oklahoma State Cowboys

QB Spencer Sanders

Spencer Sanders has played some of his best football the last two weeks, and if he can keep playing at this level, with the way the running game and defense is performing, then Oklahoma State has its best chance to win a Big 12 title in 10 years. Through his first five games, Sanders threw six touchdowns to five interceptions. Over his last two games, he has thrown five touchdowns and zero interceptions, with one rushing score. He’s also completing 63% of his passes the last two weeks, after that number was below 60% his first five games. This is a positive trend for Sanders and the Pokes’ offense.

LB Malcolm Rodriguez

Rodriguez ranks No. 6 among all active FBS players with 357 career tackles and No. 4 with 218 solo tackles. The veteran is first in the Big 12 with 78 tackles and 9.8 tackles per game, which puts him at No. 11 in the FBS. Malcolm Rodriguez has recorded at least five tackles in 16 straight games. He is the anchor and leader of this defense and that will continue on Saturday in Morgantown.

 

West Virginia Mountaineers

QB Jarret Doege

Just like Spencer Sanders, Doege has been a different guy the last couple of games as WVU has gone 2-0 the last two weeks. Doege has completed nearly 70% of his passes and played efficient football against TCU and then against Iowa State, the best defense in the Big 12, he threw three touchdowns to two interceptions, with 370 passing yards. If Doege can keep up some of the best football he’s played since he came on the scene late in the 2019 season, that bodes well for WVU.

DL Dante Stills

Senior defensive lineman Dante Stills is ranked No. 3 in the Big 12 and No. 21 nationally in sacks (0.75). He is No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 13 nationally in tackles for loss. West Virginia has been able to get to the quarterback with regularity, ranking tied for second in the Big 12 Conference with 21 sacks over eight games, just one sack behind Oklahoma State and Kansas State.

 

Key Storylines

Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Cowboys defense needs to get to Jarret Doege early and fast and make him uncomfortable. As was noted above, Doege has been playing better in recent weeks and the protection he’s gotten from his offensive line has been a big reason why. But WVU is still ranked 8th in the Big 12 in allowing 17 sacks over eight games. Meantime, the OSU defense has racked up 22 sacks in its eight games, good for second in the conference. If the Pokes get to Doege early, it’ll be a long afternoon for the Mountaineers.

West Virginia Mountaineers

I’ll be interested to see the offensive game plan that WVU rolls out on Saturday. While Doege has improved, I’m curious to see if the Mountaineers use Leddie Brown in the running game to try and set up the pass. If so, Brown ability to keep the Oklahoma State defense honest can really open things up for Doege in the passing game. That formula could lead to a third-straight win for West Virginia.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 28 West Virginia 21

The Mountaineers have a good two-week run, but then again they did it against TCU, who isn’t very good, and then they caught Iowa State at the right time, coming off a Top 10 win, and got a couple of huge officiating breaks. Oklahoma State is just the better team, especially with Spencer Sanders starting to look more improved by the week, and the Cowboys will go to Morgantown and get a win to stay right near the top of the 2021 Big 12 Championship race.

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