Five Weeks To Decide If Season Was Success Or Failure - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Five Weeks To Decide If Season Was Success Or Failure

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MORGANTOWN -

The West Virginia University football team began the season with high expectations and was living up to those expectations through the first five weeks of the season. The past two weeks quickly derailed all conversations about a national championship and the Heisman Trophy for quarterback Geno Smith.

At 5-2 all is not lost for this team. There are scenarios that could still send this team to a BCS bowl game. It all hangs on what the Mountaineers do in their final five games.

Here is a look at those five games:

DATE OPPONENT
11/3 TCU
11/10 at Oklahoma St.
11/17 Oklahoma
11/23 at Iowa St.
12/1 Kansas

WVU is on a two game slide in which it has been outscored 104-28. The bye week gave the team a little extra time to try and regroup. It also gave the Mountaineers an extra week to heal some of those bumps and bruises.

If this team is going to save its season then it begins Saturday against TCU. This game provides the Mountaineers a real opportunity to get back on track. TCU, like WVU, is learning what the grind of playing in the Big 12 is all about.

Unlike WVU, TCU is still in the middle of a very tough stretch. Due to the Horned Frogs move to the Big 12, their schedule is out of whack in terms of bye weeks. TCU had week one of the season off and has not had a bye since. When TCU plays WVU it will have played nine straight weeks.

TCU also may come to Morgantown looking to start its third different player at quarterback this season. Casey Pachall left the team to enter rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. Trevone Boykin left the game against Oklahoma State on Saturday with a knee injury. His status is unknown for Saturday's game at WVU. If he can't play, then Matt Brown would get the start.

The game against TCU will go a long way towards determining if this funk will continue for the Mountaineers, or if it is a thing of the past. A win and WVU could be back on track. A loss could cause this team to stumble towards the finish line.

WVU catches a break getting a worn down TCU squad in its ninth straight game using potentially its third-string quarterback. West Virginia may catch another break when it visits Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are dealing with multiple injuries at quarterback.

OSU began the season with Wes Lunt as the starting quarterback. An injury early in the season knocked him out and thrust J.W. Walsh into the starting spot. He responded well passing for nearly 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns in six games. Walsh suffered a season-ending injury last week. Lunt did return against TCU and played pretty well. He passed for 324 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Clint Chelf is waiting on the sideline should Lunt fail to be able to play in that game.

Oklahoma State also recently lost Tight End Justin Horton and Receiver C.J. Curry for the rest of the season.

Should WVU get through the TCU and Oklahoma State games with wins, it sets up a huge showdown in Morgantown against Oklahoma.

The Sooners were quickly moving up the rankings until Notre Dame rolled into Norman and left with a 30-13 win.

Oklahoma will bring another top quarterback challenge for the WVU defense. Landry Jones is lighting up opponents lately. He has passed for more than 2,000 yards, 12 touchdowns and four interceptions.

The final two weeks will include lesser opponents, but not by much, at least with Iowa State. Playing in Ames, Iowa is no easy task. Iowa State just handled Baylor there over the weekend to improve to 2-3 in conference play.

The regular season finale will take place against Kansas. The Jayhawks have yet to win a conference game, but came very close to beating Texas on Saturday. It took a Texas touchdown with less than 20 seconds remaining in the game to win it.

The bottom line is this, if WVU finds a way to win out then it would likely finish in the top 10 of the final BCS standings and could be an at-large bid to a BCS bowl game.

However, should the losses continue to mount, West Virginia may find itself struggling to get bowl eligible. One more win is all it takes for the Mountaineers to become eligible for postseason play.

The push through the final five games of the season begins Saturday against TCU.

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