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Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers - Oklahoma State Cowboys

The standings at the top remained the same after six of our eight panelists recorded correct selections in the WVU - TCU game. Does the potential for a bigger shakeout exist as West Virginia visits Oklahoma State?

Mountaintop Picks...

Brian and Jeff took top honors with misses of 17 points as West Virginia's defense continued to play havoc not only with opponents' offenses, but also with our group's point prediction totals.

...And The Valley Below

Matt and Jon dropped to the bottom of the pack with their third consecutive losses, but with a big caveat. Anyone detecting a bit of Crash Davis' advice in their picks?

Jeff Cobb Last Week: W Season: 6-0 Point Differential: 111
WVU will be leaving the safe confines of Mountaineer Field for its second true road game of the year and traveling to Oklahoma State this weekend for a rendezvous with the Cowboys. Perhaps fittingly, West Virginia will be rocking the old Nehlen-era road uniform color combination on Saturday. I say fittingly because Dana Holgorsen's offense is starting to more closely resemble Don Nehlen's than any sort of Air Raid. Dana has said that he and Gibby are trying to balance their styles to the point that it maximizes what each side is doing. If WVU is ahead and the defense is playing well? A steady diet of run and run option. If the Mountaineers find themselves behind or the defense is giving up some points? Holgorsen is not afraid to air it out to catch up. They seem to be able to do a little bit of everything well. Not doing any one thing exceptionally, but doing a whole bunch of stuff solidly. WVU has split its games with OKState since entering the Big 12. I'm staying on the Mountaineer Express and picking WVU in a close one at Stillwater.
  West Virginia 38-31  
 
 
Brian Jolliff Last Week: W Season: 6-0 Point Differential: 130
I think you would be hard pressed to find any Mountaineer fans this week that thought WVU would be sitting at 6-0 and inside of the top 10, and all that with Beano Cook four-plus years gone from us. Although there are few that could have predicted this start to the season, there is a multitude that hoped. I'm certainly not invoking the dark horse nonsense at this point in the season, but I am riding the waves and still hoping, one game at a time. The keys to this game are obvious: Skyler Howard continuing to play at a high level, effective running game, the defense not taking a week off, and winning the turnover battle. This is WVU's toughest challenge to date and Stillwater will be a tough place to play, but the Mountaineers seem to have the parts in place to pull in number seven. Still keeping the faith.
  West Virginia 38-31  
 
 
Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 132
The Mountaineers will face their toughest test of the season as they travel to Stillwater to take on the Cowboys. WVU will need to play mistake-free defensive football to slow an OSU offense that is averaging over 40 points a game. Look for WVU to win in a shootout.
  West Virginia 48-45  
 
 
Brian McCracken Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 136
For the third week in a row West Virginia will take on one of the premier offenses in college football in Oklahoma State. I'm not necessarily saying the Cowboy's offense is better than Texas Tech or TCU's but I believe that it is the most complete unit of the three as OSU has one of the best QBs (Mason Rudolph), running backs (Justice Hill) and wide receivers (James Washington) in the Big 12. I believe the Mountaineers will be able to score the points on the Cowboys and if there's one thing the last two games has taught me, it's not to bet against Tony Gibson and the Mountaineers' ever-improving defense. I like West Virginia in a close one.
  West Virginia 30-27  
 
 
Greg Hunter
Last Week: W Season: 4-2 Point Differential: 92
Oklahoma State isn’t much different than it was last year. The Cowboys have an outstanding passing attack and can put a lot of points on the board, averaging 41.1 a game. But they again have defensive deficiencies (27.4 ppg against), and West Virginia should be able to take advantage of those struggles, while slowing down the Cowboys’ passing attack just enough to gain the win.
  West Virginia 33-26  
 
 
Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season: 4-2 Point Differential: 146
The more you win, the bigger the next game becomes. As a coach, that's a unique type of pressure. Sure, there are good feelings about what your team has accomplished so far, but your job is to block all of that out and focus on the little details that make the next challenge so tough. It's a great predicament to be in, and here's hoping the Mountaineer coaching staff finds itself in it for the next several weeks.West Virginia heads to Stillwater in the top 10 of the national rankings. Oklahoma State has been solid, but I foresee another dominant performance from the Mountaineer defense. The Mountaineers have found their identity: a tough, blue-collar, defense-first football team with a strong running game and a passing game that more than keeps you honest.
  West Virginia 38-27  
 
 
Matt Keller Last Week: L Season: 3-3 Point Differential: 109
West Virginia's defense has held two consecutive explosive offenses well under their season average. Make it three, and it becomes far more than a mere streak. This is likely the most difficult road test remaining for the Mountaineers, who also play at Texas and Iowa State over the final half of the season. OSU hasn't been dominant, but it's sound in all three phases and in search of a significant win to pair with a victory over Texas. In Stillwater, the Cowboys can get it.
  Oklahoma State 33-26  
 
 
Jonathan Martin Last Week: L Season: 3-3 Point Differential: 150
No chance I predict a WVU win, right? While I admit this Mountaineer team has made me a believer I can't ignore the fact they've won their last three games ... where I predicted a loss. So I'm willing to take another one for the team. I'm willing to toss out any game breakdown and simply say no chance the Mountaineers get a win on the road. See where I'm going with this?
  Oklahoma State 31-27  

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