West Virginia Football: Oklahoma State game preview

West Virginia takes on No. 11 Oklahoma State this Saturday at Noon on ESPN.

West Virginia takes on No. 11 Oklahoma State this Saturday at Noon on ESPN.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys invade Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium Saturday. The Cowboys are (3-0) and coming off a bye week. During OSU’s last on field performance they crushed Lamar 59-3.

The game will be shown on ESPN. On air talent lines up this way (Bob Wischusen, Rod Gillmore and Quint Kessenich).

The West Virginia Mountaineers are (2-2) on the young season, coming off a 37-0 defeat to the Maryland Terrapins.

The all-time series between Oklahoma State and West Virginia is tied (2-2). This is the first time since 1928 that OSU will travel to Morgantown.

Oklahoma State is favored by 18.5 over the Mountaineers. WVU will have a monumental task with its next three games against ranked opponents.

One key matchup to keep a close eye on is Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh vs. West Virginia’s defense. Walsh is averaging 214 yards passing and a team-high 61 yards rushing per game. West Virginia’s pass defense has improved from the unit that gave up a school record for points last season, including a 55-34 loss at Oklahoma State.

The WVU defense will look to slow down Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh

The WVU defense will look to slow down Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh

WVU lost at Maryland last week 37-0, but it’s hard to place much blame on the defense — all of Maryland’s four touchdowns came on West Virginia turnovers.

West Virginia is holding opponents to a league-best 157 yards passing per game. They have allowed two individual 100-yard rushing efforts this season.

The Mountaineers Nick O’Toole punted eight times at Maryland, including four over 50 yards. Oklahoma State has outscored opponents 136-41 and is aiming for its third 4-0 start in four seasons.

West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator under head coach Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State in 2010.

WVU was limited to 175 total yards at Maryland and is last in the Big 12 in scoring at 18 points per game.

Oklahoma State is 16-5 on the road since the start of 2010. West Virginia dropped its only Big 12 conference game so far this season 16-7 at No. 14 Oklahoma on Sept. 7.

Oklahoma State is very much looking forward to playing in front of the Mountaineer faithful.

“When you’re going to go on the road and play against 50, 60, 70,000 people who don’t like you and want you to fail, you have to get excited for that,” said sophomore quarterback J.W. Walsh. “There’s not a better feeling almost than being able to go out there and shut up 70,000 people.”

It looks like WVU will start Clint Trickett at quarterback as the QB merry-go-round continues.

The Mountaineer offense is sorely in need of a good showing and needs to build some confidence going forward. They’ll really need to step it up a notch, cut down on brainless mistakes, and score some points if this one is going to be worth watching.

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