Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers - Texas Tech Red Raiders

West Virginia's football season has reached a fork in the road, and this week's game will, in large part, determine which direction it heads in for the rest of the season. Likewise, our panel has a split, with some looking for a brighter November while others see a continuation of the troubles of October.

Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season: 7-0 Point Differential: 136
Yes, the schedule in October was tough. But to quote Dan Hawkins, "IT'S DIVISION I FOOTBALL! IT'S THE BIG 12! IT AIN'T INTRAMURALS!!" It's well past gut check time for the Mountaineers. They have to win three out of five to go to a bowl game. After this week, it will be three out of four.
  Texas Tech 38-24  
Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 6-1 Point Differential: 140
To me, this is a must win for the Mountaineers. The Red Raider offense is potent but the defense has struggled the last few weeks. The Mountaineers need to start quickly and score early and often. The home field helps WVU take this one.
  West Virginia 42-37  
Matt Keller Last Week: W Season: 6-1 Point Differential: 140
I've wrestled with this since the end of Texas Tech's loss at Oklahoma State. If the Mountaineers were at full strength, or showing the slightest ability to piece together a complete game, I'd take the home favorite. But based upon past performances, and mistakes more self-inflicted than dictated by the opposition's skill, Texas Tech has the most complete squad even with their obvious defensive issues. The gamut of four consecutive top 15 teams, and the resulting injuries and inability to gain confidence and play a full 60 minutes, bites West Virginia again. Be wary, the season is on the verge of unraveling, and it could if there's not at least a split of the next two games.
  Texas Tech 40-31  
Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season: 6-1 Point Differential: 145
Texas Tech has an outstanding offense capable of scoring points (47.3 per game) at a rate as good or better than anyone in the country not named Baylor or TCU. But unfortunately for the Red Raiders, their defense is equally as bad (43.4 ppg, 122nd in the FBS). WVU was battered and bruised in October, but the Mountaineers get a chance to right the ship against Tech squad that has held just two opponents all season to less than 31 points.
  West Virginia 44-42  
Jonathan Martin Last Week: W Season: 6-1 Point Differential: 150
Well, here we are. West Virginia has lost four straight, the fans are restless and the Mountaineers are desperate for a win. They return home – which is good. They face another quality Big 12 opponent – which is bad. The truth is WVU needs to prove they can get back to their winning ways before I can feel confident writing itd name down in the win column. The game will be more competitive than the weeks previous, but it’s not likely to end on a positive note.
  Texas Tech 42-27  
Connor Murray Last Week: W Season: 6-1 Point Differential: 152
West Virginia's offense gets back on track against a porous Texas Tech defense as Skyler Howard has a big day through the air, and WVU employs a balanced attack with Wendell Smallwood going over 100 yards on the ground again. West Virginia's defense is able to come up with some critical turnovers to stop the Red Raiders' potent offense in a close game.
  West Virginia 33-30  
Roger "CJ" Harvey
Last Week: W Season: 5-2 Point Differential: 153
Don't be fooled by Texas Tech's 5-4 record. A potent offense will score touchdowns, and keep West Virginia on its heels. The Mountaineers cannot be doomed with another slow start if they plan on beating Tech. West Virginia's young offense hampers them from scoring at will like Baylor or TCU. If West Virginia can slow Tech's offense, Skyler Howard will have a chance to wrangle in the team's first conference win of the year.
  West Virginia 38-34  
Brian Jolliff Last Week: W Season: 5-2 Point Differential: 157
From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows...Mountaineer fans have experienced all of that this season in what has become a microcosm of the past 3-4 years. The latest slide has occurred during the toughest stretch of opposition in my memory and the year's not over yet. Next up is Texas Tech this Saturday in Morgantown, which should at least push one brick back over to the Gold and Blue's benefit. The other bigger benefit is how the Red Raider defense has been performing terribly, which will result in a long awaited fourth win of the season.
  West Virginia 42-31  
Jane Donovan Last Week: L Season: 4-3 Point Differential: 141
This is the week we discover what the 2015 edition of the Mountaineers are made of. Will they fold their tents and slink off into the brutal sunset of broken dreams and shattered knees? Or will they dig deep, pull themselves up by their cleats, and salvage what is at this point a very salvageable season? I vote for the latter. I could add a whole bunch of clichés and platitudes, but I won't. You've heard them all by now.
  West Virginia 38-35  

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