The #22 Texas Longhorns (4-2, 3-2) will face the West Virginia Mountaineers (4-2, 3-2) on Saturday at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium. Both teams are coming off of wins over ranked opponents, and both teams need a win to remain in contention for a slot in the Big 12 Championship game. Can Texas win their third straight and second consecutive game over West Virginia? Or will the Mountaineers win their third straight in Austin and extend their all-time lead in the head-to-head series?
The HornSports Staff weighs in with their thoughts and predictions on Saturday’s game.
Texas’s win against Oklahoma State served as a nice reprieve for the program. However, this week, the Longhorns will have to beat a pesky West Virginia team in order to prove that they are heading in the right direction.
The key to this game will be Texas’s offensive line. Other than Samuel Cosmi, the performance of the offensive line has been less than inspiring. In addition, the Longhorns will face a talented West Virginia defense that is led by the Stills brothers on the defensive line. If Texas’s offensive line, (particularly the right side) can keep a clean pocket for Sam Ehlinger, the Longhorns will be in great shape to win at home.
Score Prediction: Texas 30, West Virginia 20
It is not often you see a defensive battle in Big 12 play, but this game has all the makings of a low scoring affair. Nothing the Texas offensive line has shown this year should give fans confidence they can slow down the Stills brothers. On the other hand, the Texas defense has shown significant improvement week to week and West Virginia does not have a potent passing game. The Mountaineers have found success running the ball but the Texas run defense will be the best they have faced so far this season. I will take Texas in a low scoring defensive battle with Sam Ehlinger making just enough plays for the Longhorns to come out on top.
Score Prediction: Texas 24, West Virginia 14
Both teams are 4-2 on the season and both teams need a win on Saturday. With Texas you have to worry about how they will perform after a big road win over a ranked Oklahoma State team. West Virginia hasn’t won a road game this season. Something has to give on Saturday and I think Texas will have the advantage as long as they don’t shoot themselves in the foot with costly penalties and turnovers. The West Virginia defense is ranked 4th in the country in total defense, giving up an average of just 255 yards per game. Sam Ehlinger and company are going to have to find ways to run the ball and move the chains against a stout defensive line, but I like the odds of the Texas wideouts against a young WVU secondary. Much like every game so far this season. I expect the final score to be tight but Texas has too much to lose by not winning.
Score Prediction: Texas 31, West Virginia 24
This is setting up to be a bit of letdown game after such a huge win in Stillwater. 11 AM starts statistically aren’t kind to Texas under Herman, and West Virginia will be another big challenge after they absolutely spanked a solid Kansas State squad last weekend. Predicting the Longhorns’ chances in these matchups has become like a riddle of plugging multiple holes in leaking boat; they simply can’t get all three phases playing soundly. If we assume the defense continues to progress and do well stopping the run, the offense must produce consistently and avoid their cold spurts. It’s highly unlikely they will receive four or five extra chances to score as they did against Oklahoma State, and the Mountaineers’ defense will make them earn everything. As much as I have an unsettling feeling about this one and don’t expect Texas to cover, I’ll give them the home bump since West Virginia hasn’t had much luck on the road.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, West Virginia 31
Texas earned a huge victory on Saturday by dethroning the undefeated Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Longhorns now finds themselves back in the top-25, and awaiting a 4-2 West Virginia squad who’s also coming off of a big victory over ranked Kansas State. Expect this to be another high scoring affair as the over has hit in five of six Longhorns games this season. Texas is 10th in points per game led by Sam Ehlinger while West Virginia is 4-0 at home yet 0-2 on the road in 2020. Texas is also coming off of an amazing defensive display as they forced four turnovers against the Cowboys. After a huge victory for Texas last week, this is another must-win to continue to build momentum for the rest of this season. The Big-12 is a mess and at this rate anyone has a chance to make it to the championship game. Texas isn’t out of it yet and they’ll show people that this Saturday. Texas wins and covers the 6.5 point spread in doing so.
Score Prediction: Texas 38, West Virginia 28
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