West Virginia Seeking Season-Ending Victory

West Virginia Seeking Season-Ending Victory

Updated: 3 days, 10 hours, 37 minutes, 41 seconds ago

STILLWATER, Okla. — West Virginia (4-7, overall, 2-6 Big 12) will look to close out the regular season on a high note Saturday when it visits Boone Pickens Stadium to meet Oklahoma State (7-4, 4-4). Kickoff is set for noon EST. The game will be aired on ESPN2.

The Cowboys lead the all-time series, 9-4. The Mountaineers need a season-ending victory to avoid matching its fewest wins (4-8 in 2013) since a 3-8 record in 2001.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Oklahoma State looks to bounce back from a loss to rival Oklahoma. The Cowboys fell behind 28-0 against the Sooners, then dominated the final three quarters before losing 28-13. Oklahoma State opened the season with high hopes after a 5-0 start.

West Virginia coach Neal Brown is struggling and just needs to get a win. His Mountaineers have dropped four of five.

KEY MATCHUP

Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders vs. West Virginia secondary. Sanders is second in the Big 12 with 264.2 yards passing per game. West Virginia is ninth out of 10 Big 12 teams, allowing 270.4 yards passing per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oklahoma State: S Jason Taylor II. He’s all over the field, all the time. Against Oklahoma, he intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. He leads the Big 12 in solo tackles and ranks fourth nationally with five interceptions.

West Virginia: WR Sam James. He has 44 catches for 726 yards and six touchdowns this season. He ranks No. 5 in career receptions at West Virginia with 188 and needs four to pass David Saunders for fourth place. He is No. 8 in career yards receiving at West Virginia with 2,212.

FACTS & FIGURES

Sanders threw four interceptions in a 28-13 loss to Oklahoma last week. … Oklahoma State has won the past seven games against the Mountaineers. … Oklahoma State ranks 15th nationally in tackles for loss. … West Virginia WR Sam James has 44 catches for 726 yards and six touchdowns. … West Virginia WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton has 60 catches for 653 yards and seven touchdowns this season. His 5.5 receptions per game rank second in the Big 12.

Other things to watch during Week 13 in the Big 12 Conference:

GAME OF THE WEEK

Kansas (6-5, 3-5 Big 12) at No. 15 Kansas State (8-3, 6-2, No. 12 CFP)

A win would send Kansas State to the Big 12 championship game. The Wildcats could have that spot clinched long before kickoff Saturday night if No. 24 Texas (7-4, 5-3, No. 23 CFP) loses at home to Baylor on Friday. K-State has won 13 in a row in the Sunflower State rivalry, the last three by an average of more than 31 points. The Jayhawks haven’t won in the series since 2008, also the last time they had a winning season.

Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels played last week for the first time since injuring his shoulder Oct. 8 against TCU, which was the first loss for the Jayhawks after a 5-0 start. Wildcats starter Adrian Martinez missed last week with a lower body injury, but his backup Will Howard has thrown for 1,011 yards and 11 touchdowns in his four games.

BEST MATCHUP

Iowa State (4-7, 1-7) at No. 4 TCU (11-0, 8-0, No. 4 CFP).

Beyond the overall records and conference standings, this is the Big 12’s top defense against its best offense and a matchup of teams on opposite sides of single-score games. The Cyclones wrap up their first losing season since 2016, coach Matt Campbell’s first season. Six of their Big 12 losses are by a touchdown or less (24 combined points, four a game) They have allowed only 16.5 points and 277 total yards a game overall. The Horned Frogs average 39.5 points and 482 total yards a game, and four of their league wins have been by no more than a touchdown.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Oklahoma (6-5, 3-5) is bowl eligible for the 24th season in a row after its Bedlam win over Oklahoma State last weekend. The only longer active streak belongs to No. 1 Georgia, which is bowl eligible for the 26th consecutive season. … The Big 12 has eight bowl-eligible teams. The last season the league had eight bowl teams was 2017, the only time with eight since a record nine bowl teams in 2012, its first as a 10-team conference.

IMPACT PLAYER

Texas running back Bijan Robinson is the only FBS player with more than 1,000 yards rushing and 300 yards receiving. He leads the Big 12 with 1,400 yards (127.3 yards per game) and his 16 rushing TDs. He had 243 yards and four TDs rushing last week against Kansas, a week after TCU limited him to 29 yards. The Longhorns host Baylor, which has limited Robinson to 98 yards (55 and 43) in two previous meetings.

UNDEFEATED STREAKS

TCU is the first Big 12 team to reach 11-0 since Texas was 13-0 in the 2009 season before its loss in the BCS national championship game. The Longhorns were the last to complete an undefeated season, when going 13-0 to win the league’s last national title in the 2005 season. The last team without a conference loss was Oklahoma in 2016, when the Sooners overcame a 1-2 start in non-conference play.

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