OSU vs. West Virginia Preview & Prediction - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

OSU vs. West Virginia Preview & Prediction

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Oklahoma State heads into Morgantown, West Virginia on Saturday for a 6 p.m. kickoff.  The Cowboys (5-0) will look to become bowl-eligible against a solid WVU team (3-1) coming off of a tough loss at OU last week.  Here’s the game at a glance:

Ranked but not favored

OSU is ranked 21st in the country, whereas West Virginia enters Saturday unranked. Yet the Mountaineers are a seven-point favorite. Night games in Morgantown are traditionally very difficult and it usually takes a stellar performance for a road team to escape with a win. On that note, stellar performances haven’t exactly been OSU’s forte this season.  Underwhelming wins over Texas and Kansas State have the Pokes at 2-0 in conference play, but it’ll take 60 minutes of good football to beat West Virginia.

All on Rudolph?

Mason Rudolph, sans the second half of the Texas game, has been lights out this season. In his four games that don’t include Texas, Rudolph has thrown for eight touchdowns and just two picks, including a three-touchdown, one-pick performance against Kansas State on Saturday. With OSU’s continued struggles on the ground, it might be up to Rudolph to shoulder the load once again. Through five games, OSU has run for just 691 yards while no Cowboy back has more than 274. This would be a mighty fine time for the Pokes to establish the ground game.

Secondary issues

Baker Mayfield shredded the WVU secondary for 320 yards on Saturday in OU’s 44-24 win. And to make matters worse for the Mountaineers, star safety Karl Joseph is out for the year after a non-contact injury in practice. It’ll be interesting to see if the Mountaineers can bounce back against a great quarterback and a pool of good receivers.

Prediction

The Mountaineers played Oklahoma pretty evenly for much of their loss in Norman last week, but turnovers and mistakes killed them. Five turnovers and 111 penalty yards make it hard to win road games against good opponents. If WVU can clean up the act a little bit this week, combined with the home night game aspect, and it’s gonna take a big time performance for OSU to go in and win.

West Virginia takes it, 34-30

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