Texas is set to square off against West Virginia at 11:00 am at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday. The Longhorns need one more win to become bowl eligible, while West Virginia remains in the hunt for a share of the Big 12 regular season crown.
The HornSports Staff give their predictions on the outcome of Saturday’s game in Morgantown.
Texas hasn’t had the better of West Virginia in Morgantown since the Mack Brown era in Austin. The weather forecast for Morgantown calls for rain and a 50 degree game time temperature. The Mountaineer run defense is porous and the Longhorns are devoid of a running game, which we will call a wash. Will Grier and the West Virginia offense have the capacity to gobble up yardage, while the Texas defense prides itself in solid run-stopping. To me, the storyline in this game revolves around the Longhorns’ ability to contain the Mountaineer air raid. Texas will stop the run, but the secondary needs to stop or limit the big plays, or this game could get out of hand, and fast. I’m not confident in Texas’ ability to score points, if put in a position of need, and the Mountaineers win their third straight against the Longhorns.
Score Prediction: West Virginia 38, Texas 24
It has been hard to get a read on West Virginia this season. The Mountaineers have an impressive 7-3 record, but have failed the eye test at times. The WVU defense ranks in the bottom half of the conference, but I am not sure the Texas offense can take advantage.
If Texas tries to play the QB rotation game for 4 quarters, West Virginia will win handily. The Longhorns need to hope Sam Ehlinger or Shane Buechele establish themselves as the hot hand early enough to get the offense in a rhythm.
In the end, I think West Virginia is going to put together more quality drives than Texas. Will Grier is very good, and the offensive weapons he has will give the Texas defense some problems. I expect this game to be competitive for 4 quarters, but the Mountaineers will pull away late for a win.
Score Prediction: West Virginia 24, Texas 14
All things considered this is a tough matchup for Texas. The Mountaineers are capable of hanging crooked numbers on defenses and with the Longhorn secondary lacking Holton Hill, I think things will be tough sledding back there. David Sills has caught 18 touchdowns, while Ka’Raun White has reeled in 10 touchdowns, so the back end of the defense will have its hands full on Saturday.
As far as the Longhorn offense goes, I’d bet we see more of Sam Ehlinger this week after only seeing him for one first half series and in garbage time against Kansas. We should also see the return of Connor Williams, which is also encouraging for a struggling offense who has struggled to protect the quarterback all year long.
I had this matchup pegged as a loss looking at the schedule on in the year considering it’s on the road against a team Texas has struggled against and
my feeling really hasn’t changed based on how the season has played out. I don’t see this one going Texas’ way all things considered.
Score Prediction: West Virginia 34, Texas 24
Texas will be looking for their first win versus the Mountaineers since 2014, when Charlie Strong was still head coach. And this WVU team is stacked, and thanks to the leadership of QB Will Grier, have one of the best offenses in the nation. West Virginia’s rush D is one of the worst in the nation, but unfortunately for the Longhorns their run game has been inept all season. The Mountaineers will be playing for at least a share of the Bug 12 crown, as long as they win out. All in all it may prove to be too much for the ‘Horns, whose postseason aspirations may take a significant hit if they lose come Saturday.
Score Prediction: West Virginia 30, Texas 21
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