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STAFF PICKS: West Virginia vs. No. 15 Oklahoma State

We couldn’t round out our pre-game content without giving you our staff predictions.

Poker Table Shoot Photo by Jesse Wild/Digital Camera Magazine/Future via Getty Images

Every week, the Smoking Musket staff will test out our sure to be less-than-stellar gambling skills, as we make picks in four categories: straight-up, against the spread, over/under, and a special prop bet to be determined each week. We will each start with $500 in Musket Money™, and each bet will be worth $100.

In addition to the degenerate gambling, we’ll be giving our straight up, detailed predictions as to how we think the week’s game will go. So, without further ado...


Ok Lite escaped a challenge versus Tulsa, and did not look like a top 15 team, but they are still loaded with talent. Brown gets a signature win.

West Virginia 34 - Oklahoma State 27


WVU is better. Oklahoma St looks worse. I think we’ve improved enough to beat these guys this year. We need the Stills boys to wreck havoc, contain Hubbard and harass whichever QB that plays. The offense needs to build upon what they showed against EKU.

West Virginia 27 - Oklahoma State 20


As much as I’d like to think we will see the offense continue its dominance after the EKU game, Oklahoma State’s defense is unlikely to be as porous and blow as many assignments as the Colonels did. Marshall went from dropping 59 on EKU to just 17 on App State... so the EKU defense is objectively trash.

OK State will likely have the same QB for the duration of the game. Even if Sanders starts and has to come out, Gundy has figured out that Illingworth is definitely QB2, which would mean the offense would be at least competent in QB1’s absence.

WVU’s defense forces a couple of turnovers, but OK State is just too good and forces WVU to kick too often. No matter, Hubbard and Wallace get theirs and the Cowboys prevail in Stillwater.

West Virginia 23 - Oklahoma State 27

Matt Kirchner

I think that for the first time in a long time, West Virginia is going to have a defensive line that can be the dominant unit on the field in most games, and especially in a game where the opponent’s offensive line struggles to hold down Tulsa’s three man rush.

West Virginia 27 - Oklahoma State 21

John Radcliff

I think this is going to be a grind and whoever’s has the best day on the ground is going to win. Thankful just this one time that it is 2020 and not 2019.

West Virginia 24 - Oklahoma State 17

Nick Shoemaker

I think that Oklahoma State’s offense will continue to struggle and West Virginia will be able to take advantage of the situation. I think this game will be close, but WVU will pull off the surprising upset on the road.

West Virginia 24 - Oklahoma State 20

Jordan Pinto

***This prediction is based on the idea that Spencer Sanders will be playing in some capacity. If he’s not, Okie State may be in trouble.***

This one figures to be a great early season litmus test for us. Oklahoma State rode a ton of hype into last weekend’s opener against Tulsa, but for much of the game they didn’t really handle themselves like a team that deserved it. I’m not falling into the trap though - this is a good football team with a ton of experience on D and as much top-end offensive talent as any team in America.

The key for me is an active, swarming Mountaineer defense. Their three main playmakers (Sanders, Hubbard, and Wallace) are all exceptional in the open field and were among the nation’s leaders in avoided tackles at their respective positions last year. We did as good a job against them as anybody last year, in large part because we gang tackled and limited explosive plays after contact. If we can do that again, then I like our chances to be in a position to win it in the 4th quarter.

West Virginia 31 - Oklahoma State 23


I think Gundy has a hex on the Mountaineers and that Spencer Sanders will play. If Sanders plays, I think he is the difference maker, along with Tylan Wallace. I expect this to be a relatively high scoring game and the first one to 30+ wins.

West Virginia 28 - Oklahoma State 35

Michael Miller

Tulsa may have exposed some of Oklahoma State’s weaknesses last week in that near upset, and I fully expect West Virginia to go into Stillwater today and attack those weaknesses.

Jarret Doege has another good day, and continues to be one of the top quarterbacks in the country. Leddie Brown and Alec Sinkfield don’t have quite as good of a day, but still do enough to hurt the Cowboys.

West Virginia 31 - Oklahoma State 24