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West Virginia seeks season-ending win | News, Sports, Jobs


West Virginia safety Malachi Ruffin (14) intercepts the ball in the first half of a game against Kansas State in Morgantown earlier this season.

STILLWATER, Okla. – West Virginia (4-7, overall, 2-6 Big 12) will look to end the regular season on Saturday when it visits Boone Pickens Stadium to take on Oklahoma State (7-4, 4-) hold true. 4). Kickoff is scheduled for noon EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

The Cowboys lead the all-time series 9-4. The Mountaineers need a win to end the season not to match their winning streak (4-8 in 2013) since a 3-8 record in 2001.

WHAT’S AT Stake?

Oklahoma State appears to be recovering from a loss to rival Oklahoma. The Cowboys fell 28-0 to the Sooners, then dominated the final three quarters before losing 13-28. Oklahoma State opened the season with high hopes after a 5-0 start.

West Virginia coach Neal Brown is struggling and just needs to win. His Mountaineers dropped four out of five.

KEY COMPARISON

Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders vs. West Virginia secondary. Sanders is second in the Big 12 with 264.2 yards per game. West Virginia is ninth out of 10 Big 12 teams, allowing 270.4 yards per game.

PLAYER TO SEE

State of Oklahoma: S Jason Taylor II. He’s on the field all the time. Against Oklahoma, he intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. He leads the Big 12 in solo tackles and ranks fourth nationally with five interceptions.

West Virginia: WR Sam James. He has 44 catches for 726 yards and six touchdowns this season. He ranks No. 5 in career receptions in West Virginia with 188 and needs four to pass David Saunders for fourth place. He is ranked No. 8 in career with 2,212 in West Virginia.

FACTS

Sanders threw four interceptions in a 28-13 loss to Oklahoma last week. … Oklahoma State has won its last seven games against the Mountaineers. … Oklahoma State ranks 15th statewide in tackles for losses. … West Virginia WR Sam James has 44 catches for 726 yards and six touchdowns. … West Virginia WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton has 60 catches for 653 yards and seven touchdowns this season. His 5.5 receptions per game ranks second in the Big 12.

Other things to watch in week 13 of the Big 12 conference:

GAME OF THE WEEK

Kansas (6-5, 3-5 Big 12) at No. 15 Kansas State (8-3, 6-2, No. 12 CFP)

A win would send Kansas State to the Big 12 championship game. The Wildcats could earn that spot well before kickoff Saturday night if No. 24 Texas (7-4, 5-3, No. 23 CFP) lose at home to Baylor on Friday. K-State has won the Sunflower State rivalry 13 straight times, the last three by averaging more than 31 points. The Jayhawks have not won in the series since 2008, including the last time they had a successful season.

Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels played TCU last week for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury on Oct. 8 in what was the first loss for the Jayhawks after a 5-0 start. Wildcats starter Adrian Martinez missed last week with a lower body injury, but backup Will Howard has thrown for 1,011 yards and 11 touchdowns in his four games.

BEST MATCHUP

Iowa State (4-7, 1-7) at No. 4 TCU (11-0, 8-0, No. 4 CFP).

Aside from overall records and conference standings, this is the Big 12’s top defense against their best offense and a matchup of teams on opposite sides of single-score games. The Cyclones end their first losing season since 2016, coach Matt Campbell’s first season. Six of their Big 12 losses are by touchdown or fewer (24 combined points, four per game). They’ve conceded just 16.5 total points and 277 total yards per game. The Horned Frogs are averaging 39.5 points and 482 yards per game, and four of their league wins have been no more than a touchdown.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Oklahoma (6-5, 3-5) has qualified for the Bowl for the 24th consecutive season following its Bedlam win over Oklahoma State last weekend. The only longer active streak belongs to No. 1 Georgia, who qualified for the Bowl for the 26th straight season. … The Big 12 has eight bowl-eligible teams. The last season the league had eight bowl teams was 2017, the only time with eight since a record nine bowl teams in 2012, the first as a 10-team conference.

IMPACT PLAYER

Texas running back Bijan Robinson is the only FBS player with more than 1,000 yards rushing and 300 yards receiving. He leads the Big 12 with 1,400 yards (127.3 yards per game) and his 16 rushing TDs. He had 243 yards and four TDs rushing against Kansas last week, a week after TCU limited him to 29 yards. The Longhorns host Baylor, who has capped Robinson for 98 yards (55 and 43) in two previous encounters.

UNDEFEATED STREAKS

TCU is the first Big 12 team to go 11-0 since Texas went 13-0 in the 2009 season before losing in the BCS national championship game. The Longhorns were the last to end an unbeaten season when they won the league’s final national title in 2005, 13-0. The last team without a conference loss was Oklahoma in 2016, when the Sooners overcame a 2-1 start in non-conference play.



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