GAME PREVIEW: 22 WVU Hosts 11 OK-State in QB Battle - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

GAME PREVIEW: 22 WVU Hosts 11 OK-State in QB Battle

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By Ryan Decker 

Saturday afternoon’s matchup between No. 11 Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1) and No. 22 West Virginia (5-2, 3-1) will highlight two of the best quarterbacks, not only in the Big 12 but also in the country between Mason Rudolph and Will Grier.

Grier leads the country in touchdown passes with 26 – three more than any other quarterback – and is on pace to break Geno Smith’s school record for single-season touchdown passes.

Rudolph leads the nation in passing yards and passing yards per game and leads an explosive Cowboy offense that WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said might be the best in Stillwater he’s seen.

“Offensively (they’re) as good as you’re going to see,” Holgorsen said Tuesday. “Statistically, this is probably as good as it’s been.”  

Oklahoma State’s offense is best in the country in terms of yards per game, coming in at over 584 yards per contest. With Rudolph, who’s among the nation’s best in almost every statistical category, running the show, the Cowboys have scored at least 40 points in all but two games this year.

On the other side, West Virginia’s offense is scoring at nearly an identical clip as OK-State and isn’t far behind in total offense. Grier is also just seven points behind Rudolph when it comes to passer efficiency.

Both quarterbacks also have top pass catchers garnering national attention.

David Sills V leads the NCAA in receiving touchdowns with 15, and like Grier is on pace to break a school record for touchdowns in a single season.

James Washington is the top receiver for the Cowboys, leading the nation with 130.6 receiving yards per game.

Oklahoma State possesses one of the deepest wide receiving corps in the country, with three players having over thirty catches, and five receivers with at least seventeen receptions.

Pitted with the tasks of stopping these high-powered offenses are defensive coordinators Tony Gibson and Glenn Spencer.

“If you load up on the run game they’re obviously going to throw the ball down the field over the top,” Gibson said. “If you drop everybody in coverage, Justice Hill’s good enough to beat you on his own.”  

West Virginia’s defense gave up a season-high in points a week ago in Waco, however, played well for the first three quarters.

OK-State’s defensive unit, on the other hand, is coming off one of its best performances of the year, when it limited Texas to just 10 points and holding the Longhorns to 3-of-17 on third down.

It’s a Cowboy defense that’s also only given up four passing touchdowns all season.

“They do a good job of keeping everything in front of them and rallying to the ball and making plays,” offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said. “You can tell that they’ve done a pretty good job on the defensive end this year.”  

Neither offense has had the ball for long this season, with both teams losing the time of possession battle for the year.

Oklahoma State has completed 21 scoring drives that have taken fewer than two minutes to complete, ten of which have taken less than one minute to end up in the end zone.

West Virginia has 22 touchdown-scoring possessions that have taken fewer than two minutes to start and finish, with thirteen of those being completed in less than one minute.

Kickoff is set for noon Saturday and fans attending the game are encouraged to wear blue, as it is a “True Blue” game.

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