This game has the makings of an instant classic: #6 Oklahoma and #13 West Virginia are two of the hottest teams in the country heading into Friday night. Oklahoma is an undefeated 3-0 on the road, while the Mountaineers are a perfect 5-0 at home. Oklahoma is also favored by -1.5 points and, get this, the over-under is 84-points! Kickoff is set for 8:00 PM ET on Friday, November 23rd.
While people expected a quality club, skeptics would’ve said it’d be a few years before OU got back in the picture after Heisman-winner Baker Mayfield departed for the NFL last year. Well skeptics, enjoy your silence. Oklahoma has not only shown up, they’ve shown out. (It’s a saying). They are currently averaging the most yards per game and most points per game, not just in the Big 12, but in the entire country.
I would HATE to game plan against an Oklahoma offense
— Dimitri Flowers (@treeflowers36) October 27, 2018
Dimitri’s not wrong and Mountaineers defensive coordinator Tony Gibson will definitely have his hands full come Friday. His defense currently allows 379.0 yards per game, which is good enough for 55th in the country. Not the worst, but not the best. The storyline here is a great offense against a good defense. On paper, though, the Mountaineers also have an above average front, which kind of gives the underdogs an edge on paper, because there’s no doubt that the OU defense is the worst of the four units we’ll see in this game.
Sooners vs Mountaineers Statistical Comparison
|49.5 (1st)||PPG||40.9 (9th)|
|576.0 (1st)||YPG||502.0 (10th)|
|260.7 (7th)||Rushing YPG||162.0 (75th)|
|315.4 (11th)||Passing YPG||340.0 (5th)|
|30.7 (86th)||PPG Allowed||23.3 (43rd)|
|426.0 (88th)||YPG Allowed||379.0 (55th)|
|162.2 (64th)||Rushing YPG Allowed||135.5 (36th)|
|263.6 (106th)||Passing YPG Allowed||243.7 (89th)|
|-2.0 (88th)||Turnover Differential||6.0 (26th)|
West Virginia Mountaineers
The Mountaineers have relied on the arm and legs of Will Grier all year and he has not disappointed. He has an overall rating of 174.2 and is averaging almost 10 yards per pass (9.56). He’s kept the Mountaineers in the conversation all year and would look pretty solid in New York Giants blue next season. Just saying.
While Grier has kept the offense competitive, as noted, this a defense-first team. They have been nothing short of tremendous defending against the pass this season with 12 picks and eight recovered fumbles. Unfortunately, their playoff hopes were smashed with last week’s loss to Oklahoma State, but they’ll have an epic shot at redemption on Friday.
Oklahoma State fans were all over the field after upsetting No. 9 West Virginia!
— ESPN (@espn) November 18, 2018
The Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS in their last five and 3-0-1 ATS against teams with winning records. Both of these clubs are perfect taking the over in November, while the Sooners are also 6-0 with the over through their last six following a straight-up win.
Through the ten years of this rivalry, Oklahoma leads 8-2 and has also won this game the last six years straight. Meanwhile, last year (almost to the exact day), the Sooners destroyed West Virginia by a score of 59-31. The Mountaineers would go on to lose the ever-coveted Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, 30-14, to Utah, while the Sooners fell to Georgia in last year’s double-overtime Rose Bowl thriller, 54-48.