WVA Texas Pick

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West Virginia




West Virginia is currently the team of the moment. After scoring 70 points against Baylor, no one can stop talking about Geno Smith and how he’s ready to win the Heisman. Keep in mind the Mountaineers have not played a road Game yet. Their first one will be this weekend when they travel to Austin. You haven’t played a true Big 12 Game until you play on the road. Texas has scored their fair share of points as well going off for a combined 107 in their last two road Games at Ole Miss and Oklahoma State. Those are not easy places to play.

Even with all of the hype, WVU comes in as touchdown underdogs. While they are winning Games, they have not covered in three straight while Texas has done the opposite beating the spread in their last three Games. Both offenses rank in the Top 10 in the country, but neither defense has shown they can stop a good team from scoring. The differeNCe here is that Texas is at home where their defense is normally stout. No matter, they GAve up 67 points in their last two road Games.

Geno Smith and company should be able to capitalize on that. To start, Smith is having a ridiculous season so far completing over 83 percent of his passes for 1,728 yards along with 20 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Wow, right? If he keeps this going, it could be a rather historic season. But still, he’s now in the Big 12 and WVU’s next Four Games are Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas State and TCU. Smith’s two main targets are short, but extremely quick. As a combo Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin have totaled 89 catches, 1,195 yards and 17 touchdowns. The goal on offense is to get these two guys the ball. Yes, they also have a running Game led by Andrew Buie and he actually had 25 carries last week with two TDs. The smart thing about this offense is that they still run the ball.

Texas will have their hands full on defense, but so will West Virginia. David Ash is putting together a nice season of his own completing 78 percent of his passes for 1,007 yards and a 10-1 TD to INT ratio. Those will do for a running team. RB Malcolm Brown was forced out of last week’s Game in the first quarter and is a tossup to play, but the Longhorns still have two other studs in the backfield. Joe Bergeron and Johnathan Gray both came up big against Oklahoma State. The trio has combined for 125 carries, 657 yards and eight touchdowns. To keep the Mountaineers off the field, this rushing attack will have to keep churning.

With defense a big coNCern for both of these teams, we have to side with West Virginia here. Anytime you have an explosive team offensively, you have to take a good look at grabbing significant points, in this case, a touchdown. We also wouldn’t be surprised to see this Game with fewer points than many think. How often have you anticipated a high scoring shootout only to end up  with a 14-7 Game at halftime? So we’ll consider these opinions only, but, West Virginia +7 and Under 75