Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers - Oklahoma State Cowboys

There was a bit of separation in our field last week, as three predictors took losses. How do this week's picks shake out, and will there be another big shift in the standings after the West Virginia - Oklahoma State game is complete?

Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 4-0 Point Differential: 67
The undefeated Cowboys visit Morgantown looking to go 6-0 for the first time since 2011 and to extend their winning streak to eight games. The Mountaineers will be trying to get back on the winning track after a setback against Oklahoma and a devastating injury to Karl Joseph. Oklahoma State is riding high but its schedule hasn't been difficult to date. WVU will be fired up to play in front of a night crowd at Milan Puskar Stadium and will pull this one out in the fourth quarter.
  West Virginia 38-31  
Matt Keller
Last Week: W Season: 4-0 Point Differential: 75
With respect to Oklahoma, Baylor and TCU, this is West Virginia's biggest game in October, the one it must have to begin to meet or exceed expectations. WVU learned a bit about itself in last week's loss, and should emerge a better overall team with exceptional focus coming into this game. But Oklahoma State leads the nation in sacks, and that matches up well for the Cowboys against a Mountaineer front still polishing pass protection. West Virginia rides its defense, the ground game and a bit of conservative play calling for Skyler Howard to a much-needed win.
  West Virginia 34-27  
Connor Murray
Last Week: W Season: 4-0 Point Differential: 80
Despite Karl Joseph's season-ending injury, this is still the toughest test Oklahoma State has faced to this point in the season. After close wins against what could turn out to be Big 12 bottom feeders in Texas and Kansas State, the Cowboys' luck runs out in Morgantown. WVU's defense is galvanized by the loss of Joseph, for at least a week, and plays with heart in a close win.
  West Virginia 38-30  
Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season: 4-0 Point Differential: 87
After an down-then-up rebuilding season in 2014, the Cowboys appear be on the rise again this year, led by a promising QB and an experienced defense. WVU was also on the climb, at least until the loss at Oklahoma. Okie State is certainly capable of defeating the Mountaineers if WVU is as mistake-prone as it was at Norman. The thought here, though, is that it won't happen two times in a row.
  West Virginia 31-27  
Jonathan Martin Last Week: W Season: 4-0 Point Differential: 87
Isn't it possible this could be considered a "must win" for West Virginia? Isn't it possible this one game determines the outcome for the rest of the season? With road trips to Baylor and TCU ahead that's exactly the case for the Mountaineers. This is a must win. The good news is this is being played under the lights in Morgantown. I don't see any chance the Mountaineers let this one slip away.
  West Virginia 37-27  
Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season: 4-0 Point Differential: 89
West Virginia dug itself a big hole in Norman, and fought back, but couldn't make the plays down the stretch to open Big XII play with a signature road win. In this conference, though, there is seldom time to think about the previous game, no matter the result, because odds are another tough opponent is up next. Such is the case this week as No. 21 Oklahoma State comes to down undefeated and looking to secure bowl eligibility. This is a telling game for WVU. It's not a make or break game, but it will shed some light on what kind of progress has been made in year four of Big XII play. The past few years, one bad game has sometimes led to multiple bad games. Can the Mountaineers bounce back from a tough defeat in Norman with a home win over the Pokes? I sure hope so. But my gut is telling me no.
  Oklahoma State 41-31  
Jane Donovan
Last Week: L Season: 3-1 Point Differential: 73
I went into this week expecting to pick the Mountaineers by 14 while making my usual humorous post, but the loss of Karl Joseph renders both of those things impossible. As I type this, it is unclear who will take the field in his position on Saturday evening. There should be no talk of replacing Joseph; that's just not possible. I feel sorry for whoever plays the bandit position, because you know the Okie State offense will pick on him all evening. It's time for the Mountaineers to pull themselves up by their cleats, work together as a team, and win one for the Gipper. Karl, thanks for everything you've given us, and I wish you the best possible outcome as you recover and prepare for the draft.
  West Virginia 35-31  
Brian Jolliff Last Week: L Season: 3-1 Point Differential: 78
After a disappointing outing against Oklahoma last weekend, the big hits kept on coming with the loss of Karl Joseph from the Mountaineer defense. The question now: Who will step up and help fill the role that #8 commanded on the field? I don't know that there is an answer, and I suspect that the defense will suffer because of Joseph’s loss. I'm looking for a rebounding Mountaineer squad to rally and put together a good showing against Oklahoma State with a very close contest.
  West Virginia 31-30  
Roger "C.J." Harvey Last Week: L Season: 3-1 Point Differential: 87
West Virginia’s spirit will be tested against Oklahoma State. The hole created by an injury like Karl Joseph’s is not easily patched. The Mountaineers will have their hands full with another tough defensive line. The battle in the trenches will dictate the outcome of this game. Quarterback Skyler Howard needs to step up in the pocket, and let plays develop down field. If he can find his stride, WVU will win.
  West Virginia 31-27  

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