One of the big highlights of a long Thanksgiving weekend of pigskin comes on Friday night in the form of a good old fashioned Big 12 shootout. The game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the West Virginia Mountaineers has a staggering projected total of 83.5 points.
Both teams are locked and loaded as they get set for this crucial matchup which will go a long way towards deciding the conference crown. Let’s take a look at this game in full detail, starting with what the oddsmakers think about the chances for both squads.
Oklahoma @ West Virginia, 8:00 PM EST, ESPN
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia pick:
The stakes for this one are straightforward enough: the winner is going to the Big 12 championship game. As for the loser, their fate will depend on results from earlier in the day when the Texas Longhorns hit the road take on the Kansas Jayhawks.
If the Longhorns win, the loser of this one will watch the title game from afar. If they happen to lose, this game will serve as a preview of the title tilt, which will take place next weekend at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
For the contest at hand, these evenly-matched clubs are separated by just a single game in the Big 12 standings, and both take up residence in the latest College Football Playoff poll.
|Teams||Record||Conf. Rec.||PF||PA||Streak||Standings||CFP Rank|
|West Virginia||8-2||6-2||409||233||L1||2nd-Big 12||#13|
The Sooners lone loss on the season came at the hands of Texas in this year’s edition of the Red River Showdown. It was a thrilling back and forth affair which Texas won by a final score of 48-45 on a last minute field goal. The club has won five straight since that point, including a one-point squeaker over the rival Oklahoma State Cowboys.
One of the Mountaineers defeats came at the hand of those same Cowboys just last week by a score of 45-41. Prior to that, the team had won three in a row on the heels of a 30-14 road loss versus the Iowa State Cyclones. The club’s 2018 resume also includes a one-point win over Texas, an exciting 42-41 contest from a few weeks back.
The Sooners have the edge on offense, while the Mountaineers are more stout on offense. That said, both squads can be pulled into shootouts, and West Virginia certainly has the offensive chops to keep pace. Sooners QB Kyler Murray and Mountaineers QB Will Grier are two of the top signal callers in the nation, and they have both been playing lights out football this season.
Defensively, West Virginia has had a little more success getting to the quarterback than their opponents, but thy have also allowed seven more sacks than Oklahoma on the season. The turnover margin favors the Mountaineers, as the Sooners are -2 on the year. That’s a little on the surprising side for a squad that has already notched 10 wins, but it’s a testament to the fact that a few bounces of the ball can’t derail the Sooners offensive engine.
These two programs have hooked up 10 times overall with the Sooners holding an 8-2 all-time edge. They have been playing annually since 2012, and Oklahoma is 6-0 straight-up over that span and 4-2 against the spread. The Over has been the correct call in five of those meetings, including the last four.
Last year, Oklahoma was a 59-31 home victor in a game in which they were favored by 23 points. The projected total for that one was 69.5 points, well below this year’s massive total of 83.5 points.
The 2.5-point spread indicates how evenly these two schools match up. If this game does devolve into a shootout, it could simply become a matter of who has the ball last. An overtime affair would be less than shocking. The stakes obviously couldn’t be higher, and it could turn out to be a long night at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown.
Both teams are on the outside looking in for the College Football Playoffs. A Big 12 championship is really the only prayer for either side. Even with that, both teams would need things to break just right with results that are out of their control.
However, they do control their destinies as far as the Big 12 is concerned. While this game could wind up as a mere preview of the championship in the event that Texas loses early in the day, both teams will still need the win to bolster their standings in the eyes of the pollsters.
A ton is at stake between two evenly-matched clubs, and we really couldn’t ask for a better contest on a Friday night of football. On an overall talent basis, the Sooners have the edge, and that should prove to be enough for them to pull out a close win in a highly entertaining game.
We’ll take the Sooners minus the points.
- Record: Team overall win-loss record
- Conf. Rec.: Team record in conference games
- PF: Team points for
- PA: Team points against
- Streak: Team current winning/losing streak
- Standings: Team current position in division or conference
- CFP Rank: Team ranking in College Football Playoff poll, if applicable
- PPG: Team average points per game
- RuYdF: Team average rushing yards per game
- PaYdF: Team average passing yards per game
- PtsAll: Team average points allowed per game
- RuYdA: Team average rushing yards allowed per game
- PaYdA: Team average passing yards allowed
- SaF: Team total sacks for on the year
- SaA: Team total sacks allowed for the year
- ToM: Team turnover differential, i.e takeaways minus giveaways