The Sooners and Mountaineers should produce an avalanche of
touchdowns this weekend when they meet under the lights in Appalachia. Although they've lost four straight, the Mountaineers are still in the hunt for a bowl. Check out our college football picks.
The Sooners can win because…
Their quarterback, who is the foremost indicator of
whether they play well or not, is likely to play well in this game. It is such
a simple and obvious point, but it is a strong, solid and undeniable one: If Landry Jones plays well, Oklahoma simply does not lose. If Jones plays poorly,
Oklahoma does not win games against opponents that are talented enough to
outscore the Sooners.
The key point in light of this larger
dynamic is that - yes, Jones should be able to feast on West Virginia's
porous secondary. The Mountaineers also don’t have the kind of pass rush that
should be able to threaten seriously the Sooners. West Virginia has been
eviscerated by one offense after another in the pass-happy Big 12 Conference.
The Mountaineers gave up 63 points to Baylor, but won because they scored 70.
They gave up 45 points to Texas, but won because they were able to score 48.
The Mountaineers then started to lose games because their offense found it hard
to bear up under the burden of having to carry the team every week. The defense
continued to get waxed, giving up 49 points to Texas Tech and 55 to Kansas
State. The Mountaineers conceded 39 points at home to TCU and then gave up 55
more points to Oklahoma State. Jones should own this defense all game long.
As long as Jones doesn't make a bad read or a baffling
throw, he will ensure that he'll get to play another down instead of taking an
unnecessary risk. Throwing passes out of bounds, shutting down plays early, and
even eating sacks once in a while are all more acceptable than committing a
turnover. If Jones plays smart and hits the open man, Oklahoma will score at
least 42 points and probably a lot more.
The Mountaineers can win because…
They're going to
treat this game as a Super Bowl of sorts.
West Virginia has
not yet attained bowl eligibility, so the Mountaineers know that they have to go all-out in
this game, pulling out every trick in the book and every maneuver possible to
win against a formidable opponent. The Mountaineers' home crowd should give
them a boost, and quarterback Geno Smith – who has disappeared completely from
the Heisman Trophy chase – will be highly motivated to play at his very best in
the final home game of his season. Smith is likely rallying his players in the
locker room and on the practice field this week, getting his teammates to
coalesce around him, so that the Mountaineers can put together the best
performance of 2012.
what they'll need to beat Oklahoma, but the important point to emphasize is
that - yes, West Virginia can do the deed.
Outlook & NCAA Football Betting Prediction:
West Virginia will markedly improve its level of
performance compared to past weeks, but the Mountaineers' improvement will only
carry them so far because they have been so horrible in October and early
November. West Virginia, compared to previous weeks, will play well, but that
will only result in a B-minus type of performance. The Mountaineers need a
straight A to beat Oklahoma. West Virginia will cover the spread, but OU will
Football Picks: West Virginia +10.5 at Bovada