Picks and Pontifications: WVU - Oklahoma

Tight standings are still the story as our panel's picks a week ago were closely clustered in terms of the final score picks. Things are a bit different this week, and there will be some separation as there is a decided difference of opinion on


CJ vaulted into a first place tie with Matt as he missed the WVU - Maryland final by just seven points. Michael and Jon were also under the 20-point threshold, and seven panelists are within two touchdowns of the lead.


Greg has actually been the closest so far overall, having missed the final scores of the first quarter of the season by just 49 points. That would have him in first place, were it not for his winner selection in last week's game.

Matt Keller Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 50
It reads here that West Virginia faces a more difficult player match-up this game than it did in the opener against No. 2 Alabama. The fourth-rated Sooners have more experience across the board, a proven quarterback, better front seven depth and talent on defense and a secondary that closes passing windows as quickly as any in the nation.

Oklahoma has also switched to a 3-4 look, which should aid OU, but also give West Virginia an alignment with which it is very familiar. The handful of struggles WVU has, namely some aspects of special teams, finishing drives inside the red zone for TDs, and a handful of missed tackles, along with the loss of cornerback Daryl Worley, prove to difficult to overcome, even with a night atmosphere at Mountaineer Field. Oklahoma continues its match to the inaugural College Football Playoff.
Oklahoma 34-27

Roger Harvey Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 50
For West Virginia, this game is all about how it controls the tempo. The faster WVU goes, the less Oklahoma can blitz. Also, the Sooners have been fantastic in the first quarter. Of Oklahoma's 132 total points scored this season, 55 of them were scored in the first quarter.

Oklahoma would have the advantage, but as a current student at WVU the excitement on campus is palpable. The demand for a ticket was so high many students were not awarded one through the the lottery system. The 12th man will be very rambunctious in Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday, and it will be enough to bring another 'Mountaineer Miracle' to Morgantown.
West Virginia 41-35

Jane Donovan Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 52
Oklahoma is going to offer the Mountaineers some significant challenges, the Sooner pass rush perhaps chief among them. Quinton Spain, Tyler Orlosky, and the rest of the OL: this game is coming right at you. Having said that, it doesn't get better than a Saturday night game in Morgantown. If the students show up as well as they did for Towson (uh, duh, it's Oklahoma!), the good guys will have more than a fighting chance.
West Virginia 35-34

Michael Carvelli Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 53
Night games in Morgantown usually bring the best out of the underdog Mountaineers, and Saturday’s Big 12 opener against the Sooners will be no different. The team will come out fired up and ready to show people that it is a group every team in the league should be worried about, but West Virginia will fall short. If WVU wants to come away from this one with a win, it will have to do all the little things it has struggled with early in the year, and I think in the end Oklahoma will take advantage of Mountaineer mistakes and sneak away with one after an impressive effort by WVU.
Oklahoma 37-34

Tony Dobies Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 59
This one will come down to the end, and West Virginia will once again prove capable of beating some of the best teams in the country ... but won't be able to come away with the much-coveted victory. The Mountaineers' defense may show some holes for a second straight week, but the offense should be able to keep up. A late OU touchdown will win it.
Oklahoma 38-31

Jonathan Martin Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 62
If West Virginia was looking to make a statement to the college football world, it couldn't have asked for a better stage. The No. 4 ranked Oklahoma Sooners roll into Mountaineer Field on Saturday night, arguably the Mountaineers' toughest contest of the season. Can WVU stop the Sooner offense? Can it continue to unleash the offensive firepower we've seen the past couple of weeks?

The Mountaineers will continue to use a balanced attack with Rushel Shell and Kevin White leading the offense. And with Oklahoma's star running back Keith Ford out, the Mountaineers must stop the Sooner passing game. Expect the Mountaineers to keep it close, but fall just short.
Oklahoma 42-38

Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 64
Through three games I don't think there's any question that West Virginia has improved as a football team. The offense is back to where it was in 2011 and 2012 as a potent, high-octane force to be reckoned with. Clint Trickett has emerged as arguably the best quarterback in the Big XII, and one of the tops in the country at his position through three weeks. Kevin White has shown he can be a go-to guy, and Mario Alford has provided a very good Plan B when White has been covered. A deep backfield of Shell, Smallwood, Smith and Buie has given WVU a slew of playmaking options from that position.

The defense has shown glimpses of being good. Certainly the dominating effort against Towson didn't come against an offensive juggernaut, but a shutout is a shutout. And when crunch time game last Saturday in College Park, Tony Gibson's crew made the plays that were needed to give the Mountaineers a chance to win. Top to bottom, there is a lot to be happy about and a lot to look forward to for this season.

Unfortunately, it won't be enough to beat Oklahoma. Trevor Knight and the Sooners will provide the stiffest test yet for West Virginia's defense. OU's defense is, in my opinion, the best the Mountaineers have faced. Right now, the Sooners are hitting on all cylinders. Play this game a month from now and it might be different. But not this week. Close, but no cigar.
Oklahoma 41-31

Brian Jolliff Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 70
As anyone knows, anything can happen at night time during a WVU football game. This Saturday night's game against the Sooners will be no different, as the Mountaineers will put together a well-played game in front of a color-coordinated, sold out crowd and come away with another magical night victory. Country Roads will be sung early in this one as the wave starts rolling around the stadium in anticipation of the victory. OU will no be a pushover early on and will keep this game close, but the Mountaineers will pull away late in the game and earn their first conference win of the season.
West Virginia 35-24

Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 72
While the Mountaineers are improving and looking much better than last year, they still have a way to go before they pull off an upset against one of college football's big boys. While Oklahoma may be a little overrated, they are still playing at a higher level than WVU at this point in the season. The loss of Daryl Worley is a tremendous blow to WVU's chances against the Sooners.
Oklahoma 31-17

Greg Hunter Last Week: L Season: 2-1 Point Differential: 49
West Virginia and Oklahoma have played some memorable games over the years (1982, 2007-08, 2012), and while WVU scored a couple of huge upsets along the way, the Sooners have managed to pull out tight victories over WVU the past two years. This year’s matchup figures to be close again, but the key will be who makes the big play/big mistake. That’s decided each of the past four meetings.
Oklahoma 37-34

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