12 West Virginia sports teams will be in action this month. Of those 12 teams, three are ranked nationally and another is receiving votes, plus the West Virginia men’s and women’s basketball teams could be in the top 25 when their preseason rankings are released. Half of the Mountaineer teams competing in October will face ranked opponents, for a total of 11 matchups against ranked foes. Let’s take a look at some of those big games in this month’s top games.
Honorable Mention: Football at TCU (October 23rd)
There are plenty of notable games that didn’t make the top five, but this matchup is worth mentioning. The West Virginia football team could get a valuable Big 12 road win in this game at TCU. The Horned Frogs just lost their first game of the season to their rival SMU. This is a winnable game for the Mountaineers, and they will need it to stay competitive in conference play this year.
5. Volleyball at #1 Texas (October 1st)
The Mountaineers have had a solid showing so far this volleyball season. West Virginia went 10-11 last year, but has already surpassed that win total with a 12-2 record. WVU’s two losses came to ranked opponents, but it has a chance to overturn that trend in its second matchup against #1 Texas. The undefeated Longhorns just knocked off the Mountaineers in the first of back-to-back Big 12 matches, but WVU has another chance at the nation’s top team in its first match in October.
4. #12 Women’s Soccer vs #10 TCU (October 14th)
The #12 West Virginia women’s soccer team finished September on a four-game winning streak and only lost one match during the month. Unfortunately, the Mountaineers have struggled in big games this season. WVU has played three matches against fellow ranked opponents this year, coming away with two losses and one draw. But those three games are the only ones that the Mountaineers did not win so far this year. TCU has not had the same struggles against ranked opponents, going 2-1 when facing top-25 teams. The Horned Frogs also have one of the Big 12’s top goalies with Lauren Kellett. So WVU will be looking to its leading scorer, redshirt senior Lauren Segalla, to help the team get a win over a ranked opponent in this match.
3. #3 Rifle at #2 Ole Miss (October 2nd)
The WVU rifle program is currently in its longest national championship drought since it went a decade without a title in the early 2000’s. The Mountaineers also missed the team championship last season, which was the first time that had happened since 2012. Despite that, WVU is coming into this season at #3 in the national rankings. The Mountaineers will start the year with a huge match at #2 Mississippi. The Rebels finished third in the NCAA Championships last season, just ahead of WVU. The Mountaineers will be relying on senior Jared Eddy, who led the team with an aggregate average of 1181.667 in 2020-21. He also had WVU’s top smallbore average with 588. Hopefully Eddy and the Mountaineers can start this season off with a big win to start their route to the program’s 20th national title.
2. #3 Men’s Soccer at #10 Kentucky (October 19th)
The #3 West Virginia men’s soccer team is coming into October with an undefeated record and its highest ranking in program history. The Mountaineers are having great success in Dan Stratford’s second season as the head coach of his alma mater, and they are looking to continue that success as they get deeper into their Mid-American Conference schedule and prepare for postseason play. WVU has faced three ranked opponents so far this season and all three were regional rivals. Two of the matches were wins over then-#3 Pitt and then-#17 Penn State. The third ranked matchup was against then-#6 Marshall, the defending national champions, and it ended in a draw. The Mountaineers will face another ranked opponent this month when they go up against future Conference USA foe, #10 Kentucky. The Wildcats are also undefeated this year with a 6-0-2 record, but WVU plans to be the only team that leaves this match with an undefeated record.
1. Football at #21 Baylor (October 9th)
The WVU football team recently lost a heartbreaker at #4 Oklahoma. The Mountaineers had a chance to win the game, but a last-second field goal kept them from earning their first victory over the Sooners since joining the Big 12. WVU will have another chance at beating a ranked conference opponent in this matchup with #21 Baylor. The Bears have moved into the national rankings after going 4-0 in September, including their most recent win over then-#14 Iowa State. This game will likely be a defensive battle between the Mountaineers and Bears. The Mountaineers currently lead the Big 12 in sacks, rushing touchdowns allowed, and red zone defense. BU leads the conference in points allowed and passing touchdowns allowed. On the offensive side, the Bears lead the league in total yards, average yards per game and per play, average rushing yards per game and per play, and have yet to throw an interception this year. The WVU defense has helped the team win or stay competitive in every game this season, and it will likely have to do so in this big game, too.
Be sure to tune in to support WVU for these games and let us know what other matchups you’re looking forward to this month!