This November might be one of the biggest months for Mountaineer athletics in a long time. Heading into the month there are currently five West Virginia teams that are nationally ranked or receiving votes in national rankings. There are also over 15 matchups where Mountaineer teams are set to face ranked opponents or teams that are receiving votes in national rankings, and that number looks like it could grow with a couple of WVU teams heading deeper into postseason play. We’ve narrowed down those big games for this month’s Top Five Games for Mountaineer Athletics.
Honorable Mentions: Wrestling at Hokie Open vs #11 Virginia Tech and more (November 4); Wrestling at Journeymen Collegiate Classic vs #6 Lehigh, #8 NC State, #20 Lock Haven, and more (November 11); Football at Oklahoma State (November 17)
The West Virginia wrestling team hired a new coach during the offseason, Tim Flynn. Flynn and the Mountaineers begin their season this month, and they will be tested early and often. The first tough event for WVU will be the Hokie Open in Roanoke, Virginia. The Hokie Open is hosted by WVU’s rival #11 Virginia Tech. The Hokies are currently ranked eleventh in the nation, but they’re not the only ranked team that will be in attendance. #8 NC State, #20 Duke, #23 North Carolina, and #25 Appalachian State will also be competing at the event.
The Mountaineers will follow that tough weekend in Roanoke with another tough weekend in Troy, New York at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic. WVU will face multiple ranked opponents at this event, as well as a Big 12 foe. #6 Lehigh, #8 NC State, #20 Lock Haven, Oklahoma, Army, and Hofstra will all be competing at the event. If WVU is able to compete well against these top opponents then the team could make its way into the national rankings. The Mountaineers will also face #9 Cornell and #14 Northern Iowa later in November.
The #13 West Virginia football team looks to have a very difficult month in November. One of the tough matchups will be on the road at Oklahoma State. The Cowboys recently upset Texas and they are now receiving votes in the national polls.
Oklahoma State has also defeated WVU in the last three meetings between the two teams. This game, like the others for WVU football this month, will be crucial if the Mountaineers want to make it to the Big 12 Championship. Television details for the game are yet to be released.
5. Rifle at #2 TCU (November 10)
The #1 West Virginia rifle team is off to another great start this season. The Mountaineers are currently undefeated with an 8-0 record and they have already defeated multiple ranked opponents this season. Both matches for WVU this month are against ranked teams, as the Mountaineers will face #2 TCU and #16 NC State. Senior Ginny Thrasher and junior Morgan Phillips have led the way for WVU this year. This matchup versus the Horned Frogs will be a very competitive match. TCU is also undefeated and will likely be a team that the Mountaineers will see later this season in tournament play.
4. Football at #17 Texas (November 3)
November will start with a very tough road game for the #13 Mountaineer football team. #17 Texas is coming off of an upset loss and WVU will be going into a tough environment when they head to Austin. The Longhorns now have two losses, but they are still competing with the Mountaineers and others for spots in the Big 12 Championship Game. Texas has been led by sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger. The Mountaineers lead the all-time series with the Longhorns, but Texas came away with a win last season in Morgantown, so WVU will be looking for revenge in this top 25 matchup. The game will be nationally televised on Fox at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday.
3. Men’s Soccer MAC Tournament (November 9-11)
The #16 WVU men’s soccer team has had an incredible season to this point. After going undefeated in conference play, the Mountaineers have secured the regular season Mid-American Conference title and now they will host the conference tournament this month. WVU currently has a four game winning streak. Senior midfielder Joey Piatczyc has led the way this season with six goals and six assists. The Mountaineers have also only suffered one loss at home this season, so the home field advantage may help WVU during the conference tournament. It is also likely that the Mountaineers may make the NCAA Tournament due to their national ranking and dominance in a solid conference, and that would also take place later this month.
2. Women’s Soccer Big 12 Tournament (November 2-4)
The #14 Mountaineer women’s soccer team is also having a great season. WVU has been led by senior forward Sh’Nia Gordon and senior defender Bianca St. Georges. Both of the seniors have scored six goals for the Mountaineers this season. WVU started the Big 12 Tournament in October with a shutout win over Oklahoma. They are now set to face #18 Texas in the semifinals and will hopefully claim the Big 12 title this month. WVU defeated the Longhorns earlier this season with a 2-1 victory at home. It is also likely that the Mountaineers will make their way into the NCAA Tournament later this month.
1. Football vs #7 Oklahoma (November 23)
This is a game that Mountaineer fans and many others around the country have had circled on their calendars since the beginning of the football season. #13 WVU will be taking on #7 Oklahoma in the regular season finale at the end of the month. The Mountaineers and Sooners have been competing to play in the Big 12 Championship all season, and this game will likely help determine who makes it to the conference championship game. Both teams have also been led by quarterbacks who are Heisman Trophy contenders, Will Grier and Kyler Murray. Oklahoma has dominated the series with the Mountaineers, winning every game since WVU joined the Big 12. This game will serve as Senior Night for a senior class with a handful of stars that have had historic careers at WVU. This will also be a night game in Morgantown on Black Friday, which will help build the hype and anticipation for this matchup. The outcome of this game could help determine how many will look back at the success of this season for the Mountaineers and the careers of many of WVU’s star players. The game will also be nationally televised on ESPN.
November will be a very big month for WVU athletics. With so many matchups against ranked opponents, Mountaineer fans will have a lot of good games to watch in the coming weeks.