WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

WVU PASS OFFENSE VS OKLAHOMA PASS DEFENSE

The big news this week out of Morgantown came Thursday with the announcement that quarterback Austin Kendall will play for WVU this week against his former team, which is much improved on defense this season. Oklahoma ranks third in the Big 12 in pass defense, allowing 199.8 yards per game. Senior cornerback Parnell Motley leads the OU secondary and has been an advanced statistics darling in addition to having a team-high six passes broken up.

EDGE: OKLAHOMA

OKLAHOMA PASS OFFENSE VS WVU PASS DEFENSE

At 335.3 yards per game, Oklahoma ranks No. 5 in the country in passing offense, and it is easy to see why. Senior receiver CeeDee Lamb has been one of the best, if not the best, receivers in all of college football this season and was last seen embarrassing the Texas secondary in the Red River game last week. WVU is thin in the secondary and depending on the health of senior Keith Washington, will start at least one true freshman at cornerback.

EDGE: OKLAHOMA

WVU RUN OFFENSE VS OKLAHOMA RUN DEFENSE

West Virginia has shown little ability to move the ball consistently on the ground this season and will turn to sophomore running back Leddie Brown as the starter this week in an attempt to breathe some life into the run game. Oklahoma has been pretty good against the run this season, ranking fourth in the league in run defense at 140.5 yards allowed per game. Linebacker Kenneth Murray was the Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and has lived up to the hype.

EDGE: OKLAHOMA

OKLAHOMA RUN OFFENSE VS WVU RUN DEFENSE

OU leads the conference in rushing offense at 286.3 yards per game, with quarterback Jalen Hurts leading a group of Sooners with a talent for running with the football. Hurts, considered a serious Heisman Trophy contender by many, averages 8.5 yards per carry with eight rushing touchdowns. WVU allows 174.8 rushing yards per game — seventh-best in the Big 12 — with junior lineman Darius Stills among the league leaders with 8.5 tackles for a loss.

EDGE: OKLAHOMA

SPECIAL TEAMS

Fields goals are still an adventure, but West Virginia finally got an Australian punter on campus and in uniform this season in the form of LSU transfer Josh Growden, who has been pretty good. It has been weeks since an opponent attempted to return one of Growden’s punts. Texas-born OU punter Reeves Mundschau has been good too when called on, averaging 45.7 yards per punt and place kicking has been solid since the season-opener.

EDGE: OKLAHOMA

INTANGIBLES

Neal Brown and the West Virginia coaching staff will have their hands full trying to figure out how to slow down a powerful OU offense and move the ball on a pretty good Sooner defense. Lincoln Riley has Oklahoma rolling again this season after replacing another Heisman winner at quarterback and somehow seeming better on offense for the second consecutive season. Oh, and it’s homecoming week in Norman.

EDGE: OKLAHOMA