PICKIN' AND GRINNIN'
Jane moves up to the top of the charts by sticking with a low score last week, but everyone is still in the hunt with a perfrect record and a small gap in the points differential scale.
Most every picker saw a close score in the Oklahoma game -- it was just that some looked for point totals in the 30s, rather than the Super Bowl III final of 16-7. Still, not much to riff on this week, as the panel is off to a good start.
|Jane Donovan||Last Week: W||Season: 2-0||Pt Diff: 41|
|OK, Mountaineer Nation, stop fretting about the quarterback situation for 5 minutes. Has anyone other than me noticed that the defense has done a 180 since last year? Yes, they wore down in the 4th quarter against Oklahoma, in stifling heat, yada yada yada -- but it's really good to see some smashmouth old-style WVU defensive football. No, they're not perfect, but they are vastly improved, and I look forward to further improvement as the season wears on. I'm guessing that the visitors from Georgia State will notice the WVU D even if you don't.|
|Pick: West Virginia 31-7|
|Andy Easton||Last Week: W||Season: 2-0||Pt Diff: 43|
|There is just no way to sugar coat it, Georgia State just isn't very good. The Panthers have lost 20 out of their last 24 games and with head coach Bill Curry gone and Trent Miles taking over, the outlook is bleak. Hopefully there will be plenty of snaps to go around for all three quarterbacks -- and that one will take the reins of the WVU offense.|
|Pick: West Virginia 45-13|
|Jon Martin||Last Week: W||Season: 2-0||Pt Diff: 48|
Despite the uncertainty surrounding several key positions for West Virginia, this is a contest the Mountaineers will win off sheer talent.
West Virginia is going to beat Georgia State -- there's no disputing that. The only question is by how much?
The Mountaineers run game will beat GSU down and they'll cruise into week four against Maryland.
|Pick: West Virginia 38-13|
|Tony Dobies||Last Week: W||Season: 2-0||Pt Diff: 48|
|Obviously disappointed from its performance against Oklahoma, West Virginia's offense should be able to put up some major points against Georgia State. Who plays at quarterback is anyone's guess, but all three should have success. Defensively, it shouldn't be a problem to stop this opponent. It should be an easy test for a team, but if not then the worries begin to creep back in heading to Maryland.|
|Pick: West Virginia 41-20|
|Bill Gleason||Last Week: W||Season: 2-0||Pt Diff: 49|
The Mountaineer defense did not wilt under the strain placed on it by special teams
mistakes and lack of offensive production at Oklahoma. It s hould get more rest with WVU facing
the worst football team to ever visit WVU.
Lots of Mountaineers will play. How many make a play will go a long way towards getting this plane off the ground.
|Pick: West Virginia 65-0|
|Chris Richardson||Last Week: W||Season: 2-0||Pt Diff: 53|
Well here we are two weeks into the season and we still don't know a lot about these Mountaineers. We don't know who the long term answer at quarterback is. We don't know who can be counted on at wide receiver. The defense certainly looks better but we don't know if that will hold up over the long haul of the Big XII schedule. At this point this team still has more questions than answers.
What isn't in question, though, is this weekend's result. To paraphrase Charles Barkley prior to the Dream Team's game against Angola, I don't know much about Georgia State, but I know they're in trouble. Hopefully we'll have more answers after this one.
|Pick: West Virginia 38-7|
|Michael Carvelli||Last Week: W||Season: 2-0||Pt Diff: 54|
|No reason WVU shouldn't be able to win this one handily - even with so much uncertainty still surrounding the Mountaineer offense. Georgia State will continue to struggle a lot throughout the rest of this season, and possibly the next few years until it becomes acclimated with FBS football. In the end, West Virginia's talent on both sides of the ball will just be way too much for the Panthers.|
|Pick: West Virginia 49-7|
|Matt Keller||Last Week: W||Season: 2-0||Pt Diff: 55|
Georgia State has struggled mightily in nearly every phase of play with the exception of its passing game. The Panthers have allowed an average of 253 rushing yards this season, and been minced through the air as well, despite having four senior defensive backs. The talent discrepancy is great, and the outcome shouldn't remain in question much past halftime. And it's a good thing. West Virginia badly needs a game during which it can focus upon itself and attempt to begin remedying some of its issues, mainly offensive timing and consistency.
Look for quarterback Clint Trickett to receive significant snaps, and for the Mountaineers to begin to, finally, settle on a signal caller heading into the final nonconference game of the season. Paul Millard was though to give WVU the best chance at winning in the opener and to challenge a tough road foe, and that coaching staff approach was likely solid. But with the junior having what I believe to be a lower ceiling on his best overall play than Trickett, and making several in-game mistakes with reads and lack of knowledge of situation (like the timeout issue and getting the offense out of the huddle in a timely manner - for which the coaches also get a heavy dose of scorn), the Mountaineers are forced to again give Trickett chances. He gets it this weekend, works out some kinks, and again challenges for the starting job.
|Pick: West Virginia 48-14|
|Brian Jolliff||Last Week: W||Season: 2-0||Pt Diff: 62|
There seem to be a lot of positives and negatives that many took away from WVU's 16-7 loss at OU last Saturday evening. While I did see some positives, there were more unanswered questions than I'd like to have at this point. I thought the defense played with a lot of passion and effort, but it also gave up an awful lot of yardage on the ground. What about the secondary seemingly bottling up the pass attack with two interceptions and keeping Knight at a 50% completion rate? Was that because of a much improved secondary or was that the results of really poor QB play from Oklahoma?
I'm not completely sure, but the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. Offensively WVU never really seemed to get on track with Paul Millard completing only sightly above 50% of his passes with several poor throws and as many dropped balls. What impressed me the most was the effort that the Mountaineers played with last weekend. It wasn't pretty at times and there were mistakes along the way, but in general, I feel the stock is slowly rising in Morgantown.
Next up is Georgia State, which will be the last in the prep games before a tough test in out of conference play against Maryland and the meat of the B12 gauntlet. WVU should ease through this game and maybe answer a few more of those lingering questions. Only turnovers and poor quarterback play could turn the tide or make things interesting this weekend. But I have faith!
|Pick: West Virginia 38-17|
|Greg Hunter||Last Week: W||Season: 2-0||Pt Diff: 63|
|If William & Mary can give West Virginia trouble, why can't Georgia State? Well, the truth of the matter is that the Tribe is a much better football program at this point in time than the Panthers, who have a record of 10- 23 in their three-plus-year history. Sandwiched between big road games at Oklahoma and Maryland, the Mountaineers can't completely ignore Georgia State, but the reality is that WVU should win this game easily, even if it doesn't play its best.|
|Pick: West Virginia 52-10|