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September 26, 2013

Game Preview: Oklahoma State




Game Preview: WVU vs. OSU

Series: Tied 2-2

Last meeting: 2012: WVU 34, OSU 55 F

Television: noon, ESPN (Bob Wischusen - play-by-play, Rod Gilmore - analyst, Quint Kessenich - sideline)

Line: +18.5 West Virginia


West Virginia (2-2, 0-1) will look to wash the taste of last weekend's 37-0 defeat at the hands of Maryland out of its mouth this weekend when No. 11 Oklahoma State (3-0) travels to Morgantown for the first time since 1928 for a Big 12 Conference matchup.

"That's why we are excited to be in the Big 12 is to be in these kinds of situations. To play teams who have a national standing and rankings, we have to step up and get a little better this week," head coach Dana Holgorsen said.

Oklahoma State has started the season undefeated and had an extra week to prepare for the Mountaineers after coming off a bye week.

The Cowboys are coached by Mike Gundy who enters his ninth season atop the Oklahoma State program, leading his alma mater to a 70-35 record during that time period including the 2011 Big 12 Championship.

It's a meeting of familiarity as West Virginia head coach served as the offensive coordinator under Gundy for a season, while special team's coordinator Joe DeForest spent 11-seasons in Stillwater.

"Obviously, I was there a few years ago, we played them last year. Our guys are very familiar with them. It's one of the teams that they understand more than the rest of them. They are very similar to us on offense," Holgorsen said.

The Cowboys are led offensively by redshirt sophomore quarterback J.W. Walsh, who emerged from a highly competitive battle with Clint Chelf.

Walsh has thrown for five touchdowns against one interception, while accounting for 182 yards and 2 more touchdowns on the ground. There are also plenty of other weapons at his disposal with Jeremy Smith in the backfield and wide receiver Josh Stewart, who caught 13 passes for 172 yards in last season's meeting.

Walsh is in charge of the high-tempo Cowboys offensive attack, which is running plays at a much faster pace than they were a season ago with three different quarterbacks starting games.

Defensively the Cowboys wont pressure as much as Maryland did a week ago but are very sound fundamentally as well as forcing turnovers, ranking second in the country with 135 since the 2009 season.

"They are going to play four down. They are going to play a couple different coverages. They are mixing in some man coverage as well. They are not going to blitz a bunch, but they coach really hard on effort and technique," he said.

The game will kickoff at noon.

West Virginia Depth Chart:

OFFENSE:

QB - 7 Ford Childress (r-Fr), 14 Paul Millard (Jr) or 9 Clint Trickett (r-Jr)
RB (A) - 3 Charles Sims (r-Sr), 4 Wendell Smallwood (Fr), 2 Dreamius Smith (Jr), 29 Dustin Garrison (Jr)
FB (B) - 88 Cody Clay (r-So), 42 Garrett Hope (So)
WR (X) - 12 Ronald Carswell (r-So), 5 Ivan McCartney (Sr)
WR (Z) - 11 Kevin White (Jr), 19 K.J. Myers (r-So)
IR (Y) - 5 Mario Alford (Jr), 6 Daikiel Shorts (Fr)
LT - 67 Quinton Spain (r-Jr), 79 Nick Kindler (r-Sr)
LG - 78 Marquis Lucas (r-So), 76 Pat Eger (r-Sr)
C - 65 76 Pat Eger (r-Sr), Tyler Orlosky (r-Fr),
RG - 64 Mark Glowinski (r-Jr), 73 Russell Haugton-James (r-So)
RT - 62 Curtis Feigt (r-Sr), 79 Nick Kindler (r-Sr)

DEFENSE:

DT - 98 Will Clarke (r-Sr), 97 Noble Nwachukwu (r-Fr)
NT - 90 Shaq Rowell (r-Sr), 95 Christian Brown (So)
DE - 93 Kyle Rose (r-So), 20 Dontrill Hyman (Jr)
BUCK - 32 Brandon Golson (Jr), 45 Eric Kinsey (So)
SPUR - 31 Isaiah Bruce (r-So), 51 Marvin Gross (Fr)
WILL - 35 Nick Kwiatkoski (r-So), 11 Sean Walters (r-Fr)
SAM - 33 Jared Barber (Jr) and 47 Doug Rigg (Sr), 53 Tyler Anderson (r-Sr)
FCB - 34 Ishmael Banks (r-Jr), 7 Daryl Worley (Fr)
FS - 8 Karl Joseph (So), 9 K.J. Dillon (So.)
BS - 25 Darwin Cook (r-Sr), 41 Ricky Rumph (So)
BCB - 26 Travis Bell (r-Jr), 16 Terrell Chestnut (r-So)

SPECIAL TEAMS:

PK - 86 Josh Lambert (r-Fr)
P - 91 Nick O'Toole (So)
KO - 48 Michael Molinari (r-Jr)
LS -87 John DePalma (So)
H - 48 Michael Molinari (r-Jr)
PR - 12 Ronald Carswell (So), 10 Jordan Thompson (So)
KR - 5 Mario Alford (Jr), 4 Wendell Smallwood (Fr)

Notes:

Fifteen Mountaineers earned their first career starts this season with Mario Alford (WR), Ronald Carswell (WR), Ford Childress (QB), Mark Glowinski (RG), Brandon Golson (BUCK), Marquis Lucas (LG), Paul Millard (QB), KJ Myers (WR), Tyler Orlosky (C), WR Daikiel Shorts (WR), Charles Sims (RB), Dreamius Smith (RB), Daryl Worley (CB), Josh Lambert (K), Nick O'Toole (P).

True freshmen that have played include: Marvin Gross (LB), Carlton Nash (CB), Wendell Smallwood (RB), Daikiel Shorts (WR), Jeremy Tyler (S) and Daryl Worley (CB).

In total, 29 Mountaineers saw their first game action this season including Mario Alford (WR), Justin Arndt (LB), Michael Calicchio (OL), Ronald Carswell (WR), Ford Childress (QB), James Gayeski (DL), Brandon Golson (BUCK), Mark Glowinski (RG), Jarrod Harper (S), Dontrill Hyman (DE), Josh Lambert (K), Devonte Mathis (WR), Logan Moore (WR), Carlton Nash (CB), Brandon Napoleon (CB), Noble Nwachukwu (DE), Tyler Orlosky (C), Nick O'Toole (P), Daikiel Shorts (WR), Charles Sims (RB), Wendell Smallwood (RB), Dreamius Smith (RB), Clint Trickett (QB), Jeremy Tyler (S), Sean Walters (LB), Kevin White (WR), Daryl Worley (CB) and Maurice Zereoue (RB).

Injuries: LB Nick Kwiatkoski and RB Dustin Garrison are dealing with hamstring injuries, both haven't been ruled out. Redshirt senior and back up BUCK linebacker Dozie Ezemma broke his lower leg and foot against William & Mary and will miss the remainder of the season. West Virginia also will be without junior linebacker Shaq Petteway who will miss the entire season with a torn ACL. Sophomore cornerback Nana Kyeremeh also will miss the entirety of the season with a shoulder injury. Redshirt freshman offensive tackle Adam Pankey is still recovering from a torn ACL and also won't be available for the game but began practicing in green.

Redshirts: Head Coach Dana Holgorsen has already announced that he plans to redshirt the following players this season: junior running back Andrew Buie, junior offensive lineman Stone Underwood, freshman wide receiver Shelton Gibson, freshmen linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton, freshman fullback Elijah Wellman, freshman safety Isaac McDonald, freshman wide receiver Jacky Marcellus, freshman safety Malik Greaves, freshman offensive lineman Marcell Lazard, freshman offensive lineman Tyler Tezeno and freshman offensive lineman Grant Lingafelter.

Points to click:

* On the defensive side of the ball you have to keep on keeping on. So far so good for the Mountaineer defense this year. Of course Saturday's game against Oklahoma State is going to be the biggest test for this revamped West Virginia defense.

Maryland had a prolific offense but for the majority of last Saturday's defeat, the Mountaineers were able to keep the Terrapins offensive weapons at bay.

This trend will need to continue as OSU has quality weapons but will lean heavily on Quarterback JW Walsh. The linebackers are going to have to keep containment on Walsh without allowing him to hit his deep threat options in Josh Stewart, Jhajuan Seales and Charlie Moore.

* Test Oklahoma State's defense. The Cowboys starting defense has given up just 13 points in 3 games. While UTSA added 28 points late against OSU's back-ups, to this point, Oklahoma State has proven they can play some D but they haven't gone against a quality of offense that West Virginia is capable of showing (but haven't to this point).

The Mountaineers are going to have to sustain some drives this Saturday, including stretching the field, without turning the ball over. If not they will be once again needing an extraordinary effort from the defense to even keep the game close.

* Ford Childress has got to play a controlled game. Obviously he is going to need to get a little help from his friends but with an offense built on the decision making abilities of its field general, Childress is going to have to put last week's debacle behind him and focus on giving the Mountaineers a fighting chance this weekend.

* Neutralize the mistakes on special teams. The Mountaineers have struggled all year returning kick offs and punts all season. Be it muffed punt returns or poor decisions on when to return the kickoff out of the endzone these mistakes are going to have to be curbed. It's hard enough to make up for the lost yardage on kick returns but giving the opponent the ball after a defensive stop is a major momentum swing that has thwarted the Mountaineers twice this season.


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