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Since West Virginia joined the Big-12 in 2012 they have a conference record of 40-40. Their overall record is a little better at 62-49. They have had one season where they went 10-3 but most seasons have been so-so. In 2021, it looks like more of the same. They will have good players just not enough to beat the best teams. And will they ever be a good fit for this conference? The road trips are long and that will always be a problem. Their recruiting base is relatively small. And they don’t get much respect from the rest of the league. You have to wonder if they aren’t considering leaving.
Offense: The MtNeers return most of their offense in 2021. Jarret Doege is back at QB and has a full offseason under his belt. His stats were excellent last year(completed 63.9% of his passes for 258.7 yards per game with 14 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions) but West Virginia only won 6 games. Despite that, he has a huge upside and should improve significantly this year. The running game is a strong point with the return of RB, Leddie Brown who topped the 1,000 yard mark in only 10 games. The offensive line is solid with All-American freshman Zach Frazier back along with a healthy James Gmiter. The big question mark on offense will be who is going to step up at receiver.
Defense: West Virginia lost three starters in the transfer portal but they have replacements. Freshman All-American Akheem Mesidor steps in at nose tackle and should be dominant. LB Josh Chandler-Semedo won MVP honors in the Liberty Bowl and he is back. There is also Penn State transfer Lance Dixon and former Arizona transfer Scottie Young to compete for jobs. The secondary lost four starters from last year so that is something that will be addressed when preseason workouts resume.
9/4 at Maryland
9/11 Long Island
9/18 Virginia Tech.
This is an ambitious non-con schedule. The trip to Maryland is a huge game and will tell us a lot about West Virginia. While the Terps aren’t very good, it would be a good road win for the MtNeers. Who the heck is Long Island? That’s a gimme. And then VaTech comes to town and that will be a big test. 3-0 is definitely doable and if they do that, they could surprise some people.
9/25 at Oklahoma
10/2 Texas Tech
10/9 at Baylor
10/23 at TCU
10/30 Iowa State
11/6 Oklahoma State
11/13 at Kansas State
11/27 at Kansas
The conference schedule has some potential. The first home game is against Texas Tech and that is close to a must win. The other three games are against conference favorites Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and Texas. They will be competitive in those games and they might even win a couple of them. They have a must win at Kansas, and winnable games at Baylor and K-State. TCU will be an upset if they were to win. And the game at Oklahoma is probably a loss.
Summary: West Virginia has some plusses. They have a good QB and a very good running back.Their offense will be good enough. Defensively, they are an unknown at this point. Their schedule is difficult but they are a tough out at home and they will beat a good team and ruin that team’s season. However, road games are difficult for them for a ton of reasons and they will lose to someone they shouldn’t In short, they will win some and they lose some.
Predicted Finish: 7th Place in the Big-12
Overall Record: 6-6
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