Heading into the contest this upcoming weekend, the Oklahoma Sooners hold an 8-0 record over the Mountaineers since West Virginia joined the Big 12 Conference. In order to extend the number to nine, the defense will once again be in the spotlight.
Bottle Up Leddie Brown
As a senior, Leddie Brown is averaging 5.2 yards per carry as a key contributor in the offense. Racking up 161 yards against Virginia Tech alone, the running back set the tone early and often. Behind the effort, WVU eclipsed 180 yards on the ground for the second consecutive game — both of which resulted in wins. Standing in stark contrast, the Mountaineers struggled when failing to run the ball effectively. During the season opener, the group managed a mere 48 yards of offense with the rushing attack. In order to keep the offense from finding rhythm the front seven of Oklahoma will be charged with slowing down Brown and the rest of the crew.
Riding a wave of momentum into Norman, the Mountaineers have yet to play a mistake free game. In fact, the program sits at -6 in terms of turnover margin with four lost fumbles and three lost interceptions to just a single fumble gained. Unfortunately for WVU fans, a major of the mistakes are coming from the quarterback position. Expect OU to get pressure in the backfield on a consistent basis. But, more importantly, that quarterback hurry must turn into forced turnovers for this defense once again.
Bend But Don’t Break
Stepping onto the field without a few key components in the secondary proved problematic at times last week for the Sooners. Still the defense held the opponent to 16 points which is a win in my book. This weekend, Jarrett Doege will test the secondary once more. The quarterback is completing 60% of his pass attempts for 243 yards per game which ranks third in the conference as an individual right now. Moving forward, it’s okay to give up yards through the air. In the same breath, the secondary must keep the average yards per attempt below the 8-yard mark…