Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
Tright here is excitement in Morgantown as the West Virginia Mountaineers hope to continue to boost under head coach Neal Brvery own. WVU had the ability to end up strong in 2019, and then jumped out to a 3-1 begin last year. Though the Mountaineers endured close losses to Texas Tech and Texas on the road and also were blvery own out by Iowa State in the regular-seaboy finale, West Virginia was unbeat at residence and staged a come-from-behind, 24-21 victory over Army in the Liberty Bowl to cap a 6-4 (4-4 Big 12) campaign and also carry momentum right into 2021.
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Related: West Virginia 2021 Season Preview and also Prediction
Brvery own has actually his most proficient roster to day, and though he have to replace a couple of key pieces from what was one of the best defenses in the nation, there’s a lot to favor around the Mountaineers. Some pollsters have actually taken notification, as West Virginia received a couple of votes in the preseason AP Top 25, putting the Mountaineers in striking distance of the top tier of the Big 12.
Can WVU continue its upward trajectory? A few of the experts at Athlon Sports pick every game on the Mountaineers 2021 footsphere schedule.
AthlonSteven)West Virginia is trfinishing in the right direction under third-year coach Neal Brvery own, and another action forward in the win column must be attainable in 2021. A defense that led the Big 12 in fewest yards per play and also points allowed hregarding relocation vital cogs at eincredibly level, however there’s sufficient talent with five returning starters to prevent a significant drop in production. Even if the defense regresses a little bit, better play on offense can minimize the damage. West Virginia averaged just 26.5 points a game last seachild, however brings earlier eight returning starters, including a pair of members of an enhancing offensive line and also running ago Leddie Brown. Quarterearlier Jarret Doege demands more assist from his receivers after drops plagued this team in 2020. However before, the senior also hregarding play via more consistency and raise his all at once performance for the Mountaineers to complete for a finish in the top four of the Big 12.
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AthlonMarkR)West Virginia has made progress under head coach Neal Brvery own and this should continue in 2021. However before, tbelow are still enough inquiries staying that the Mountaineers more than likely need an upcollection or two to end up much better than in the middle of the load in the Big 12. The defense was impressive last seaboy yet five starters need to be reput. This will certainly put more press on the offense to create and also while there's plenty of endure (eight returning starters) on that side of the sphere, the essential will certainly be what kind of manufacturing Brown gets from senior quarterago Jarret Doege. WVU additionally has to navigate some tough road trips, namely versus Oklahoma and also Iowa State. Getting to a bowl game shouldn't be also challenging however the Mountaineers more than likely will end up at the ago finish of the Big 12's postseason hierarchy.
CFBWinningEdge)First and also forethe majority of, I count greatly on the CFB Winning Edge game-by-game projections, which intend the Mountaineers to be favored in salso games and win 6.21 on average after including up the individual projected win percenteras for each dispute. According to those numbers, West Virginia is a favorite in all three non-conference games, yet by fewer than 3 points versus both Maryland and also Virginia Tech, with a 57 percent chance of victory in either one. It’s most likely the Mountaineers separation those two, and also despite playing Maryland also on the road and the Hokies at home, Virginia Tech seems prefer the tougher matchup.
Opening conference play at Oklahoma is less tha suitable, despite the Sooners’ recent early-seakid battles. Texas Tech, at Baylor and at TCU (complying with an idle week) are all winnable games, and WVU is favored in 2 of those 3 games. A 4-3 document heading into Halloween weekend is the many likely outcome, but 5-2 or even 6-1 is possible.
The final stretch is hard however sets up well as West Virginia hosts Iowa State and Oklahoma State before making the pilgrimage to Manhattan. The Cowboys are favored in Morgantown, and the Mountaineers favored versus K-State, however I flipped the predictions because we can’t expect every little thing to go according to plan. The residence finale is a great chance to upcollection Texas (though the Longhorns are favored by roughly a touchdown), and though Kansas made a strong hire in Lance Leipold, it wouldn’t be wise to suppose the Jayhawks to knock off WVU.
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Six wins and a bowl bid is a safe expectation. West Virginia can beat Virginia Tech, TCU or Kansas State to acquire to 7-5 or 8-4, yet would additionally need to avoid potential slip-ups along the method.