This possibility depends upon:
(1) Fumbling punt returns coming to an end.
(2) Punter Nick O’Toole raising the level of his game.
(3) WVU’s running game continuing to improve.
(4) WVU will have to to win some turnover battles.
However, WVU does have a lot going for it:
- WR Kevin White leads the nation with 69 receptions for 1020 yards and 7 touchdowns.
- QB Clint Trickett is the 3rd leading passer in the nation, completing 197 of 289 passes for a total of 2525 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has a QB rating of 155.23 and is averaging 360.7 yards per game
- Kicker Josh Lambert is 100% on field goals over 50 yards (53, 54, 55)
- Defense: You cannot single out one player as the star on defense, as this defense is made up of several leaders, as well as some up and coming stars.
This WVU team has shown improvement in each game so far. The back-ups are playing as well as the starters. All 5 of the running backs have contributed this season, and they have all been targeted as receivers.
If you are a running back with plans to play for WVU, you had better have good hands.
WVU’s offensive line is also greatly improved over last season. Trickett is getting time in the pocket to find receivers and deliver the ball to them.
This OL is also developing an ability to get a big push when needed, and the RBs are averaging 3.9 yards per carry.
Although White is the leading receiver, he is certainly not the only one contributing to the Mountaineers success. Mario Alford, Jordan Thompson, and recently Daikiel Shorts have caught key passes. WR Shelton Gibson is contributing by returning kick-offs.
I felt good about this team after attending two of the spring practices. I thought they also played well in their losses to Alabama and Oklahoma and had a chance at winning both of these games in the 4th quarter.
Then came the Kansas game which was boring, and I started to wonder if I was wrong. But then they have a 4th quarter comeback win over Texas Tech, and a 14-point beating of 4th ranked Baylor, which could have been worse without the turnovers.
What I saw in the Texas Tech and Baylor games was a team with all the talent and depth it needs to compete against any ranked team. The starters are talented and they have one or more backups that are equally as effective.
All WVU has to do is play with the same intensity that they played with against Baylor and they have a great shot at winning out. If WVU does so, not only do they win the Big XII, but they could incredibly find themselves as one of the 4 teams in the play-offs.
The reason for that is their two losses came so early in the season when Alabama was ranked No. 2 and Oklahoma was ranked No. 5.
If WVU can win these two games their rankings and stock will climb substantially. They also play host to Kansas State, which should be undefeated.
These are three extremely tough games. However, playing in the Big XII no game is easy and no opponent is a pushover.
WVU has one of the toughest schedules in the NCAA this season, and that along with winning the Big XII out right could put them in the play-offs.
The only thing left for WVU to do is WIN out!!!