No. 7 West Virginia tries to stay atop Big 12 standings
No. 7 West Virginia (8-1, 6-1 Big 12, No. 9 CFP) at Oklahoma State (5-5, 2-5), 3:30 p.m. EST (ABC)
Line: West Virginia by 4½.
Series record: Oklahoma State leads 5-4.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
West Virginia has won three in a row, and with No. 6 Oklahoma looming on the schedule next week, the Mountaineers control their own destiny as far as gaining a spot in the Big 12 championship game and possibly even a berth in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma State, which had much higher hopes for this season, is still seeking bowl eligibility for the 13th consecutive season.
West Virginia’s highly productive passing game, led by Heisman Trophy-candidate quarterback Will Grier and Biletnikoff Award Finalist receiver David Sills IV, against the young, inexperienced Oklahoma State secondary, which features two true freshmen and two sophomores rotating at safety. West Virginia ranks fifth in the nation in passing offense, averaging 337.3 yards a game, while the Cowboys are 102nd in passing defense, allowing 255.5 per contest, including 349 last week to Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
West Virginia: Grier. The senior continues to shine, ranking ninth in the nation with 2,961 passing yards and is fifth with 31 touchdown passes. He has also completed 69 percent of his passes (207 for 300).
Oklahoma State: QB Taylor Cornelius. The fifth-year senior/first-year starter enjoyed a monster game last week against Oklahoma, completing 34 of 53 passes for 501 yards and three touchdowns, vaulting into fifth in the nation in yards passing, with 3,123. He needs to have another big day for the Cowboys to have a shot at defeating West Virginia.
FACTS & FIGURES
Oklahoma State has won the last three meetings. . West Virginia has won 21 consecutive games when leading at halftime and is 48-6 under Holgorsen (since 2011) when holding a halftime advantage. . Oklahoma State’s 48-47 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma last week dropped the Cowboys’ record to 16-5 in their last 21 games decided by 10 points or less.