Houston vs West Virginia Prediction NCAAF Picks 10/12
- Lm Tipster
- Oct 11, 2023, 11:30:00 PM
© Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
West Virginia vs. Houston: College Football Preview
Get ready for an exciting college football clash as the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Houston Cougars face off on October 12th at TDECU Stadium. With both teams displaying firepower and determination, this game promises to be one of the highlights in the Big 12 this weekend. West Virginia, currently at 4-1, hits the road to take on the 2-3 Houston team, setting the stage for a crucial showdown. Despite the familiarity between coaching staffs, the lack of history on the field suggests that this game could swing in either direction.
Crucial Matchup Analysis
West Virginia's Surprising Rise
Initially expected to be one of the weaker teams in the Big 12 this season, West Virginia has defied predictions and appears ready to challenge for the conference's top spot. They've already scored a significant road victory against TCU, considered one of their toughest opponents, and have skillfully avoided Texas on their schedule. While they've had to grind for wins this season, they've shown resilience, winning their two Big 12 games by a combined ten points. Facing back-to-back road games presents a challenge, but as the team gains confidence and momentum, they anticipate more victories. Returning home for two consecutive games after this matchup, they understand that a strong performance here will set the tone for a successful second half of the season.
West Virginia's defensive concerns have been exacerbated by three key injuries, all on the defensive side of the ball. Aubrey Burks (neck) is sidelined for the season and will be sorely missed in the secondary. Keyshawn Cobb's absence in the secondary adds to the defensive woes, and the loss of linebacker Trey Lathan (ankle) further compounds the challenges.
Ground Game Dominance
West Virginia has heavily relied on their ground game this season, ranking ninth nationally in rushing attempts per game and 32nd in rushing yards per game. This ability to control the clock has contributed significantly to their success. Quarterback Garrett Green (4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions) has managed the game efficiently, even though he hasn't posted eye-popping numbers. CJ Donaldson Jr. leads the way in the running back position. Defensively, West Virginia's secondary has made life difficult for their opponents, a valuable asset in this upcoming matchup. Linebacker Lee Kpogba, one of the most dynamic in the Big 12, will be counted on to lead the defense, especially given the depth concerns on that side of the ball.
Houston's Uphill Battle
Houston had high hopes for their inaugural Big 12 season but has struggled to make an impact against their new opponents. Their last outing was a challenging 21-point road defeat, and they were dominated at home by TCU in their Big 12 opener. West Virginia is poised to be their toughest opponent yet, and given their defensive struggles, Houston will at least appreciate facing a team that prefers a slower pace. Whether at home or on the road, success has eluded them this season. However, the schedule lightens up after this game, and securing an upset victory could set them on a path to string together some wins.
On the injury front, Houston has a trio of injuries to contend with as they prepare for this Thursday night home game. Though primarily affecting depth players, wide receiver Joshua Cobbs is the only one of the three even questionable, adding to the uncertainty.
Considering Houston's defensive struggles this season, the over of 49.5 points appears to be the most enticing bet for this matchup. Both teams have showcased offensive firepower, and with Houston's defensive woes, a high-scoring game is expected. Anticipate a game with plenty of points as these two teams collide.
Pick: Over 49.5 -110