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Smoking Musket College Pick 'Em Gauntlet Week One Results, Plus Staff Predictions For West Virginia vs. Youngstown State

Join in on the fun picking the winners each week. Overall winner at the end of the year will win a Nike shirt. We also have the staff predictions for this week's WVU football game against the Youngstown State Penguins.

NCAA Football: Missouri at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The Smoking Musket Pick ‘Em Gauntlet is an online college pick ‘em game where we will try to pick the winners of the weekly Big 12 contests plus Yahoo! editors' selected games (usually the games involving the top 25 teams). We do pick against the spread (when available). There are usually 20-30 games to pick each week and each correct pick is worth one point. The winner (excluding Musket staff) will be the person at the end of the regular season who has the most correct picks/points. Points are cumulative, so don't worry if you happen to miss a week or two. We will award the winner a WVU Nike T-shirt at the conclusion of the games in December.

All participants are subject to the Official Rules as determined by SB Nation.

We actually filled the first group, so we had to open a second league to fit everyone in. The second league will serve solely as an extension of the first league, and is not a standalone league. If you are in the second league, you are still competing with those in the first league.

Our game, as in the past, will be hosted by Yahoo! Fantasy. GAME LINK

Group Name: The Smoking Musket II

Group ID: 10963

Group password: LetsGo

We have 25 games to pick this week, starting at 8:00 PM ET on Friday. Deadline for each pick is 5 minutes before kickoff.

Here are the leaders (top 11 and ties) from week 1. Congratulations to Webhead29 for winning week 1 (all you win for this is kudos). After this week, we'll list the top weekly performers as well.

Rank Pick Set Name Total Pts W-L
1 Webhead29 18 18-7
2 PNWmountie 18 18-7
3 DD Dream Picks All Heart picks 18 18-7
4 Ryan Shreve 17 17-8
5 BubbleScreenApologist 16 16-9
6 Dogz 16 16-9
7 markmarg 16 16-9
8 Mtnman 16 16-9
9 Holgo Red Bull Fund 16 16-9
10 MntneerSkip 16 16-9
11 oh tha grendal 16 16-9

We will once again also be featuring staff predictions for the weekly WVU game (or game of interest on the off-weeks). Without further adieu (again, in no particular order):


I'd be happy to see a blowout, but I can't imagine the Mountaineers being up for this one. But hey, at least we won't lose to YSU like Pitt seems to do every year.

Final Score:
West Virginia 45
Youngstown State 17


Bo Pelini's team can't contain Gibson, Shorts and Jennings while the WVU D is able to dominate a predictable offense. Also, Pelini goes for two just because.

Final Score:
West Virginia 56
Youngstown State 15

Matt Kirchner

I wouldn't play Skyler and if we do, it's hopefully a quarter at most. This team needa an extended look at the backup QB situation and hopefully this game provides that opportunity.

Final Score:
West Virginia 48
Youngstown State 13

John Lowe

Skylar has a slow start against Pelini's defense, but Shell and Crawford make up for that and have their way through the last three quarters of the game. Penguin QB Ricky Davis will have some productive looking statistics once the WVU starting D comes out of the game.

Final Score:
West Virginia 52
Youngstown State 28

Will Hirsch

The Mountaineers defense is stifling throughout the game. Skyler plays until WVU gets up by 21 and then Dana pulls him to rest him while seeing the backup QB situation. It didn't look good in the Missouri game and the Texas win over ND is a good indicator having two good QB's in college ball is important.

Final Score:
West Virginia 50
Youngstown State 14


YSU brings in a pretty damn good run defense with Hunter Wells' amazing hair. That's pretty much it. Expect WVU to drop back into coverage when Wells is in the backfield and stack the box when Ricky Davis is at the helm. As I said in the summer preview, YSU is a decent FCS team, but they aren't competing for titles. If West Virginia can control the line of scrimmage the way they did against Missouri, then the Eers win comfortably. Garbage time TD for YSU, though.

Final Score:
West Virginia 41
Youngstown State 13

Dustin White

The Mountaineers start the game very sluggish and don't completely put away the Penguins until the 4th quarter.

Final Score:
West Virginia 34
Youngstown State 17


This should be our first chance at an extended look at Chris Chuganov. He didn't impress with his one series against Missouri so hopefully the jitters are gone and he can just play this week. If I'm Dana, I pull Skyler the minute West Virginia gets up 2 or 3 touchdowns, hopefully in the first quarter. With bruised ribs, the longer he can rest, the better. Expect Justin Crawford and Rushel Shell to both break 100 yards. This will be a good week to see if Jovon Durante can fix the concentration issues he seems to have the last couple of games.

Final Score:
West Virginia 55
Youngstown State 10

Patrick Southern

How much playing time Skyler Howard will receive is the big question this week, as one would imagine Dana Holgorsen hopes to get the starting quarterback (and, after seeing the backups in action, can we stop pretending Howard shouldn't be this team's starter?) as much rest as possible to recover from the rib injury he sustained against Missouri. Beyond that, the most compelling component of this game is the chance to see whether the stories of the opener become trends -- specifically, the stronger-than-expected defense, and the as-weak-as-expected red zone offense. Expect to see both of those in equal measure against Youngstown State.

Final Score:
West Virginia 37
Youngstown State 10


WVU is playing Youngstown St. but thinking of BYU. It's an ugly first half effort in the grand tradition of the 2011 Norfolk St. game, but like that game they do enough to put it away in the second half. The White brothers have a good day with a pic and a score and Skyler Howard never, ever, ever, ever, ever takes off running down the field. Field goals for everyone!!

Final Score:
West Virginia 39
Youngstown State 16


Youngstown State posted an impressive win last week, but that was against Duquesne - a powerhouse in the non-descript Northeast Conference. I expect the offense to click and for the Mountaineers to out-talent the Penguins impressively.

Final Score:
West Virginia 48
Youngstown State 9


WVU's Red Zone woes continue to be a thing. That coupled with an early reprieve for Skyler Howard keeps this one from getting out of hand.

Final Score:
West Virginia 35
Youngstown State 13

Robert Hurst

I'd love to see a quick blowout like some of you are predicting, but I just can't. A good FCS program is coming into Morgantown with something to prove. I see YSU keeping it close through the first quarter, and the running game for the Mountaineers pushing WVU out to a ten point halftime margin. The difference in depth becomes obvious in the second half as WVU rolls up over 300 yards on the ground and pounds the Penguins into submission. YSU scores on at least one big play to make the game look closer than it ultimately was.

Final Score:
West Virginia 51
Youngstown State 20


Skyler Howard and the Mountaineers go on cruise control early.

Final Score:
West Virginia 48
Youngstown State 3


This ends up being closer than it should because Skyler won’t play more than 2.5 quarters. We do get a better glimpse of the passing game because YSU is no Missouri when it comes to defense. The running game is solid and we roll into the off-week in good shape.

Final Score:
West Virginia 41
Youngstown State 13

Michael Miller

Look for the Mountaineers to keep the ball on the ground against the Penguins. The coaching staff won’t risk further injury to Skyler Howard, so Rushel Shell and Justin Crawford will have the spotlight. Freshman Kennedy McKoy will make his debut and we will see the resurrection of Mountaineer Ground-and-Pound.

Final Score:
West Virginia 42
Youngstown State 10