College Football Picks: Back West Virginia to Cover ATS Against Texas' Weak Run Defense

Joe Catalano

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 10:27 PM GMT

Mediocrity collides on Saturday when West Virginia (4-4,1-4) hosts Texas (3-3, 4-5). See who we like as our college football pick in what should be a highly contested matchup.

Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 14th at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia. This game can be viewed on ESPN U. According to 5Dimes, the Mountaineers are a legitimate 8.5-point betting favorite at home and the total for the game is listed at 55 on the college football odds board.

Neither team can afford a loss if they have any desire to play in a low level bowl game and basically run the table until the end of the 2015-2016 NCAA Football Season. West Virginia has played miserably in the Big 12, but they have a good shot at picking up just their 2nd win in the conference this season.

 

A Bit of Momentum
Despite the effort of Pat Mahomes II and the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the combination of Wendell Smallwood  and Russell Shell were simply unstoppable on the ground and this was the deciding factor in WVU's 31-26 victory. Smallwood and Shell ran for a combined 274 yards and 3 TD's and if we see something similar in this game, the Mountaineers have a decisive advantage.

 

Will Gibson Be a Factor Against Texas?
With all of that said, West Virginia's leading receiver, Shelton Gibson (576 yards, 7 TD) was held to no catches in this game that I personally witnessed. Even though the running game worked like a charm for West Virginia in breaking their losing streak, I expect quarterback, Skyler Howard, to make a point of looking for Gibson as Howard didn't have one of his best outings of the season and Texas is a very beatable football team.

 

Signs Of Life
The Longhorns have somewhat saved their season as they've won 3 out of their last 4 games and beating a ranked opponent in Oklahoma. In their last 4 games, Texas has held their opponents to just 17.5 points per game and are coming off of a massive 59-20 victory over a winless  Kansas team, but a win is a win and the Longhorns will take it any way that they can get it.

The Longhorns might have lit up Kansas for 59 points, but I don't expect a repeat performance as they're possess a below average offense as starting quarterback and freshman, Jerrod Heard, has just 4 passing touchdowns on the season and Texas prefers to run the football. That said ,due to the weak opponent last week, Heard was able to throw for 201 yards and 1 TD. This was his second highest output of the season where yardage is concerned.  

Expect to see the trio of Heard (540 yards rushing, 3 TD), D'Onta Foreman (534 yards, 4 TD), and Jonathan Gray (433 yards, 3 TD) to do the bulk of the running and looking to speed up the clock and turn this into a fast paced game. Foreman ran for 157 yards and 2 TD's against Kansas and regardless of the level of the opposition, that should provide him with a greal deal of confidence coming into this game.

The records say one thing, I think another. I don't see Texas being able to stop Smallwood on the ground and look for West Virginia to cover the 8.5 with your college football picks as they attempt to regain a certain level of respectability and climb into the bowl picture.

College Football Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers -8.5 at 5Dimes

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