Oklahoma Sooners vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Free Pick 9/7/13
West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0) at Oklahoma Sooners (1-0)
NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium)
The Line: Oklahoma Sooners -21.5 -- Over/Under: 62 See the Latest Odds
Storyline: Everybody under the sun in Norman was expecting to see Blake Bell under center, at least to open the season, but they got redshirt freshman Trevor Knight instead. And Knight made everybody forget about the other guy, rushing for 103 yards on 13 carries, while passing for 86 yards and three scores en route to a 34-0 Oklahoma rout of Louisiana-Monroe. It was the first time an Oklahoma QB had eclipsed the century mark on the ground since 2001. West Virginia opened its 2013 campaign in less convincing fashion, squeaking by William & Mary 24-17 in the game’s final minutes.
The Breakdown: For the Sooners, week one really was a tune-up, offensively at least. Junior Blake Bell was supposed to be next in line to become OU’s starting QB, but then redshirt freshman Trevor Knight sort of emerged out of the darkness. Nobody knew anything about this kid except that he was an athlete that would give the Sooners something they hadn’t had in over a decade; a dual threat at QB. Knight didn’t exactly light it up through the air, only passing for only 86 yards on 11-of-28 passing, but he did throw three TDs, which was obviously a good enough outing against Louisiana-Monroe. Knight getting the start does appear to be something of an experiment so it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see more of Blake Bell as the season wears on. Defensively, OU was stout, smothering Louisiana-Monroe QB Kolton Browning, the Sun Belt’s preseason offensive player of the year. Usually a threat to pass or run, Browning was held to a mere 3 yards on 4 carries and 128 yards on 20-of-39 passing. The OU defense surrendered just 166 total yards. West Virginia, conversely, needed a last gasp to avoid becoming the latest FBS school that lost its opener to an FCS school. The Mountaineers trailed William & Mary 17-7 at the half until the offense decided it was time to work and reeled off 17 unanswered to get the win. Sr. RB Charles Sims, a Houston transfer, led the way with 120 yards and 1 touchdown on 23 carries, while Jr. QB Paul Millard had a promising outing in his first start under center, connection on 19-of-25 for 237 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, the Mountaineers seem to have started where they left off last season. They didn’t get steamrolled, but conceding 309 total yards to an FCS school and that could mean big trouble, and as early as this Saturday against the Sooners.
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Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is set at 21.5, a bit high for my tastes. The Sooners do have a stingy defense, but they also have a fledgling QB. And as porous as West Virginia has looked defensively for the last nine or so games, three touchdowns is a lot to cover in a conference game. Both of these offenses are on the green side so I don’t envision a lot of scoring either. Take the under 62 points.