Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers - Oklahoma Sooners

After another perfect week, things get tougher for our panel as West Virginia travels to Oklahoma for a Top 25 showdown with the Sooners.

Jane Donovan
Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 45
"Oooooohklahoma, Mountaineers come sweeping down the plain Where the waving wheat will still smell sweet with the Sooners crying in the rain." OK, well, that's about as poetic as I get these days. Despite all the doom and gloom and handwringing in certain quarters, the Mountaineers are ready and fired up for this game. Karl Joseph puts on another clinic.
  West Virginia 35-27  
Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 51
The Oklahoma Sooners are pulling out all stops to welcome the Mountaineers on Saturday. The fans will be striping the stadium and Brian Bosworth will be honored by being inducted into the Sooner Hall of Fame. With both offenses being fairly even the onus will fall on the defenses to determine the outcome of this contest. While the Mountaineers have been more impressive in the defensive rankings, the Sooners have played a tougher schedule that includes wins over Tulsa and Tennessee. This game should come down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter but the advantage goes to the Sooners with an extra week to prepare for WVU
  Oklahoma 31-27  
Roger "C.J." Harvey Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 57
Bob Stoops is 63-1 when his teams rush for more than 200 yards. Oklahoma has rushed for more than 300 yards in four of the seven times it has met West Virginia. But the Sooners have a new offensive coordinator in town, Lincoln Riley, who is apass-happy friend of Dana Holgorsen. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield already has over 1000 passing yards this season. But a tough West Virginia secondary will be standing in the way. WVU has 41 juniors and seniors on its roster. Most of them made the last trip to Oklahoma. They know what it’s like on game day in Norman, and they'll be prepared.
  West Virginia 37-27  
Brian Jolliff Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 57
I think most Mountaineer fans are fairly happy with where this team is at so far this season and that West Virginia is pretty much where most expected the team to be. The competition ramps up this Saturday with WVU's first conference game and first road trip of the young season again Oklahoma. This team seems to have the offense and defense to keep them in just about any game this year, but this contest will likely come down to one thing: the turnover battle. Takeaways from OU and not turning the ball over will equal a victory for the Gold & Blue. The question is, can this team pull that off? It's hard to go against this team this early on, so I'm going out on a limb with a hard-fought win for the Mountaineers.
  West Virginia 31-30  
Matt Keller
Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 58
After a disappointing season last year, Oklahoma seems to be building back to the prototypical Sooners under Bob Stoops. OU shows excellent run-pass balance and has the skill position and line talent to compete favorably with most of the top 25. But Oklahoma is no longer a lock as the Big 12 favorite, and indeed had to survive a nail-biter in Knoxville to remain unbeaten. West Virginia, too, has elevated its game, though the Mountaineers aren't likely 40 points better than Maryland. The defense is good, but whether it's great remains to be seen over the next four weeks, and the placekicking of Josh Lambert is beginning to show some issues. If WVU is to pull a road upset, the money says it happens here. And while I feel better about this game than I did in the preseason, the Mountaineers still have to prove they belong in the upper echelon of the league. That doesn't happen this week as the Sooners - off an open week at home - write the same story again, beating West Virginia in a tight game.
  Oklahoma 30-27  
Connor Murray
Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 64
This one will be close throughout, but the Sooners' offensive weapons eventually wear down WVU's defense and take OU over the top.
  Oklahoma 34-30  
Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 68
A trip to Norman starts what is arguably the toughest month in Mountaineer football history, as four ranked teams await WVU in October, three of those being road games. A win at OU would be a great start to this critical month, but that figures to be a tough task.
  Oklahoma 31-30  
Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 73
West Virginia has been as impressive as possible through the season's first three games. A shutout of Sun Belt contender Georgia Southern, a beatdown of Liberty (which turned around the following week and beat I-AA power Montana), and last weekend's thrashing of Maryland has Mountaineer fans excited. And rightfully so. While the quality of opponent isn't what WVU will see in the Big 12, all the Mountaineers can control is how they've played against the teams on their schedule. Needless to say, they've played some great football over that time. Now it's time to get the oil checked. Big 12 play opens on the road at Oklahoma. A year ago in Morgantown, the Sooners gashed WVU's defense with a high-powered running game. While strides have unquestionably been made on all three sides of the ball, will those strides be enough to beat a Big 12 contender on the road? If they are, then put WVU in that contender category after this one. Until that happens, though, I'm making the safe pick.
  Oklahoma 38-34  
Jonathan Martin Last Week: W Season: 3-0 Point Differential: 74
West Virginia faces its first major test of the season on Saturday, on the road against No. 15 Oklahoma. The Sooners have looked impressive early on, too, and their new spread offense implemented this past offseason has earned rave reviews. Can the Mountaineers defense continue their strong effort? The offense will need a strong showing from the running backs, churning clock and helping own time of possession. My heart says WVU finds a way to win -- my head says it's too tough a task.
  Oklahoma 34-27  

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