WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

West Virginia will be on national television against a Big 12 powerhouse again when the Mountaineers take on Oklahoma next week.

WVU’s Oct. 19 game will kickoff at noon and be televised on Fox.

(photo by Sean McNamara)

West Virginia’s young receiving corps might be a bit thinner next week when the Mountaineers host Iowa State.

Freshman Sam James left Saturday’s loss to Texas following the final play of the third quarter and did not return. WVU coach Neal Brown said James’ injury was, “a bit of an upper-[body] injury” and would be addressed in more detail at Brown’s Tuesday press conference in Morgantown. Against Texas, James finished with six catches for 66 yards and one touchdown.

Sophomore Sean Ryan, a transfer from Temple, could be out for a while. Ryan, who had five receptions for 70 yards on Saturday, came down hard while hauling in a 39-yard pass in the fourth quarter and return to the field after. Brown did not get into the specific details of Ryan’s injury, but indicated the receiver will likely miss some time.

“Sean, it doesn’t look good,” Brown said. “I hate it for him, because he played really well. He had his best week of practice and a really good bye week. But it looks like he’ll be out for a few weeks.”

WVU PASS OFFENSE VS. TEXAS PASS DEFENSE

West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall will need some help from his receivers this week against the Longhorns after WVU coach Neal Brown called out his pass catchers for a poor performance two weeks ago at Kansas. Texas, meanwhile, has been hit hard by injuries in its secondary, but should get hard-hitting safety B.J. Foster back this week.

EDGE: TEXAS

TEXAS PASS OFFENSE VS. WVU PASS DEFENSE

Quarterback Sam Ehlinger has the Texas offense rolling and is making few mistakes, with 15 touchdown passes this season compared to just one interception. The Mountaineers have been pretty good at limiting big plays in the passing game so far this season other than one notable breakdown at Kansas, but senior cornerback Keith Washington and the WVU secondary should have their hands full Saturday.

EDGE: TEXAS

WVU RUN OFFENSE VS TEXAS RUN DEFNSE

The Mountaineers had their best game on the ground last time out against Kansas, led by a two-touchdown effort from senior running back Martell Pettaway. Texas has faces some solid offenses so far in Louisiana State and Oklahoma State and held its own in defending the run. Longhorn defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham leads the team with 4.5 tackles for a loss and as a team, Texas ranks fourth in the Big 12 at 122 rushing yards allowed per game.

EDGE: TEXAS

TEXAS RUN OFFENSE VS. WVU RUN DEFENSE

UT has not been great on the ground in 2019, but sophomore running back Keontay Ingram and Ehlinger can still be a handful for defenses to account for on in the run game. WVU allows 172.5 rushing yards per game — seventh best in the Big 12. The defensive line has been a strong point for West Virginia this season, led in part by what Brown called “big plays” from sophomore Dante Stills.

EDGE: WVU

SPECIAL TEAMS

Texas has been on of the Big 12’s best on special teams so far this season, with a kickoff return for a touchdown as well as a 57-yard field goal by Cameron Dicker on the resume through four games. West Virginia has been OK on special teams. Kicker Evan Staley is 6 of 9 of field goal attempts this season, punter Josh Growden has been a nice addition to the WVU roster and the Mountaineers have blocked a field goal and a punt this season.

EDGE: TEXAS

INTANGIBLES

This is one of those classic “on paper” football games where one team, Texas and coach Tom Herman in this case, appears to have every reason in the world to win. The Mountaineers do have some things working in their favor — Neal Brown helped lead Troy to wins against several “blue blood” programs of UT’s ilk at his previous stop and after the way the 2018 game went there will likely be nearly 60,000 WVU fans present with a morning and early afternoon’s worth of tailgating in their system.

EDGE: WVU

 

Kickoff time and television information was announced Monday for the Oct. 12 game between Iowa State and West Virginia in Morgantown.

The Cyclones and Mountaineers will kickoff at 4 p.m. (eastern time) and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.

 

BONUS – I clipped Texas coach Tom Herman’s portion of the call too.