Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers - Texas Longhorns

West Virginia took step on in building a successful November with last week's win over Texas Tech, and the majority of our panel gained ground as well. The race for the season title just got tighter, and this week's game against Texas could make it even closer.

Chris Richardson Last Week: L Season: 7-1 Point Differential: 155
No clue with either of these teams. Texas has been good against the run, so WVU will have to make plays in the passing game to win. But Texas has also been awful on the road. I watched them against Iowa State from start to finish. Based on that, and my belief in WVU's defense, I'll go with the Mountaineers.
  West Virginia 34-21  
Connor Murray
Last Week: W Season: 7-1 Point Differential: 158
West Virginia's defense is able to put the clamps on a fairly one-dimensional Texas offense. Tony Gibson's group comes up with a couple turnovers that keep the Longhorns at bay. Skyler Howard has an efficient day, while another big performance from Wendell Smallwood pushes WVU over the top at home.
  West Virginia 27-20  
Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 7-1 Point Differential: 162
From week to week is been hard to predict the Mountaineers and Longhorns, as both have seen highs and lows in 2015. As a result, both head coaches have found themselves in the hot seat lately. Texas is coming off a dominant performance against Kansas, while WVU will be viewing this as a must win to slide into a good bowl game.
  West Virginia 37-30  
Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season: 7-1 Point Differential: 174
This game won't factor into the Big 12 title, but it is key for a pair of teams trying to achieve bowl eligibility. At 4-5 with just three games to go in the regular season (texas Tech and Baylor), it's hard to see UT reaching the six wins needed for bowl eligibility without a victory over WVU. And while the 4-4 Mountaineers have an easier path to bowl eligibility than UT, a win would likely cement WVU's postseason future. If WVU can slow the Texas ground game, it should be just fine.
  West Virginia 24-17  
Matt Keller Last Week: L Season: 6-2 Point Differential: 154
It's strength against strength on both sides, meaning whichever team can run the ball effectively and stay ahead of the chains while avoiding the obvious bugaboos like turnovers and special teams mistakes wins. I'm not real sure here, so the home team gets the edge.
  West Virginia 34-21  
Roger "C.J." Harvey Last Week: W Season: 6-2 Point Differential: 168
Texas has been terrible on the road. In three away games they've been outscored 112-10. It's a tough sell to pick the Longhorns in Morgantown. Don't get me wrong. West Virginia is still developing, but it is in a better position than Texas. The Longhorns have played two quarterbacks throughout the season, both of which have been average at best. As inconsistent as Skyler Howard has been, Jerrod Heard and Tyrone Swoopes have been even more unconvincing. West Virginia should rumble past Texas.
  West Virginia 34-17  
Jonathan Martin Last Week: L Season: 6-2 Point Differential: 170
West Virginia proved me wrong last weekend with a big win over Texas Tech. Can they do it again? Well, if they do, it won’t be proving me wrong – because I believe they win. This team is as healthy as it has been in weeks and the offense finally began to click last week. Look for the Mountaineers to build some momentum early and keep it going.
  West Virginia 31-27  
Brian Jolliff Last Week: W Season: 6-2 Point Differential: 173
Following a less than stellar win over Texas Tech last Saturday in Morgantown, WVU is back in action against another Texas team, but a win it was and one that was desperately needed. The game this weekend is interesting on several fronts. It looks to be a defensive showdown, but if one team finds its offensive rhythm, it could turn into a lopsided win. I've not seen enough in the WVU passing game to see that happening just yet, so I'm looking for a close game with WVU having the edge with the home crowd once again.
  West Virginia 31-24  
Jane Donovan
Last Week: W Season: 5-3 Point Differential: 157
The only Big 12 team more inconsistent than the Mountaineers this season has been the Texas Longhorns. Beat Oklahoma, get blown out by Iowa State makes absolutely no sense. Charlie Strong will be a force to be reckoned with once he gets another year or two in Austin. For now, however, with a home crowd, encouraged by victory over Texas Tech, the Mountaineers get a close victory over our old nemesis from his days at Da Ville.
  West Virginia 31-27  

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