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August 22, 2014

WVSports.com: Season Predictions

The start of the 2014 West Virginia Football season is just eight days away. WVU will kickoff its season next Saturday against Alabama in the Georgia Dome. With the season so close, WVSports.com's Keenan Cummings, Greg Madia & Marc Basham have put together their Big 12 Conference & West Virginia predictions.


Keenan Cummings - Oklahoma
Greg Madia - Oklahoma
Marc Basham - Baylor

"When I was picking my conference champ, I looked at the schedule, Baylor has to go to Oklahoma. Oklahoma has only lost five games at home in conference under Bob Stoops since he's been there, those teams are close, but that stat makes the difference."-Keenan Cummings

Keenan Madia - Bryce Petty
Greg Madia - Bryce Petty
Marc Basham - Bryce Petty

"Baylor has Bryce Petty coming back, they're going to be an offensive powerhouse. Even though they only have four starters on defense coming back, but that offense will continue to be ungodly under Petty…just like Richard Petty was the king of Nascar, Bryce Petty will be the king of the Big 12 again."-Marc Basham

Keenan Cummings - Charles Tapper
Greg Madia - Ryan Mueller
Marc Basham - Eric Striker

"In my official preseason media ballot, I selected Devonte Fields of TCU, obviously that didn't work out since TCU has cut ties with Fields because of another off field incident. So now, I go back to the reigning Big 12 Defensive Linemen of the Year in K-State's Ryan Mueller. With another offseason of experience under his belt, I think Mueller will be the same force to be reckon with that he was a year ago."-Greg Madia

Keenan Cummings - Bob Stoops
Greg Madia - Bob Stoops
Marc Basham - Bill Snyder

"Bill Snyder is a wizard. I never bet against Bill Snyder. Until he proves me otherwise, I'm going with Snyder. He knows what it takes to win."-Marc Basham

Keenan Cummings - KD Cannon
Greg Madia - Rushel Shell
Marc Basham - Dorial Green-Beckham

"I see Rushel Shell getting his fair share of touches. There are plenty of good newcomers in the league like Tyreek Hill, Dravon Henry, and KD Cannon, but Shell has the experience those guys don't since he has played division one football. Despite a crowded backfield in Morgantown, the top players always rise to the occasion. Charles Sims did so last year and was the newcomer of the year, Shell will follow in his footsteps."-Greg Madia


Keenan Cummings - 6-6 (4-5)
Greg Madia - 6-6 (5-4)
Marc Basham - 6-6 (4-5)

"For me it comes down to the schedule. Just in the first four weeks alone, WVU is playing two of the top four teams in the AP and Coaches' Poll, plus a Maryland team that beat the snot out of WVU last year. After that, you can't just mark off wins against tough Big 12 competition as you go down the list. I think most would consider 6-6 a success."-Greg Madia

Keenan Cummings - Wendell Smallwood
Greg Madia - Kevin White
Marc Basham - Wendell Smallwood

"It's simple. I think he is the most versatile player on offense and will touch the ball in a variety of ways."-Keenan Cummings

Keenan Cummings - Brandon Golson
Greg Madia - Daryl Worley
Marc Basham - KJ Dillon

"I'm going with Daryl Worley here. West Virginia hasn't had a shutdown corner since they've been in the Big 12 Conference or since Dana Holgorsen has been the head coach. The guy he always mentions as being closest to a shutdown corner is Keith Tandy. Worley has a higher ceiling than maybe Tandy ever had. If West Virginia is going to be improved with its pass defense in 2014, a shutdown corner won't hurt."-Greg Madia

Keenan Cummings - Shaq Riddick
Greg Madia - Rushell Shell
Marc Basham - Dravon Henry

"I think you'll see Shaq Riddick strictly at defensive end, that's what the coaches have told me. They feel confident in what he could do there, they think he's an every down player, so if that's the case, then he'll be very important to this team."-Keenan Cummings

Keenan Cummings - Rushel Shell
Greg Madia - Dreamius Smith
Marc Basham - Dreamius Smith

"I've been on the Dreamius Smith bandwagon last year ever since that run against Oklahoma. Then in the spring he sold me some more based on how different he was running. He was not running the style last year at times best suited for his body size. Entering this year, I think he understands his limitations, he's going to be more physical this year."-Marc Basham

Keenan Cummings - Dreamius Smith
Greg Madia - Kevin White
Marc Basham - Dreamius Smith

"It was really hard not to go with Dreamius Smith here, but between WVU's struggle to punch the ball into the end zone plus the number of backs that they have, it just isn't necessarily a fact that Smith is going to be the guy to get the ball down there, even though he is probably best suited to. When you look at Kevin White, I think you can definitively say when it comes to the fade route, he's the guy WVU will loft the ball too. Additionally, I like his mentality coming into the season, there is a great sense of maturity with White."-Greg Madia

Keenan Cummings - Nick Kwiatkoski
Greg Madia - Nick Kwiatkoski
Marc Basham - Nick Kwiatkoski

"As Nick Kwiatkoski proved last season, he does not let a size disadvantage deter his reolve on the field. He might not be the biggest or fastest linebacker, but in terms of on-the-field presence he's the best West Virginia has in it's cupboard. Coming off a career season, Kwiatkoski should already know what it takes to succeed. And with added depth at the position, I feel as though he will be able to use abilities in an even more impactful way this season."-Marc Basham

Keenan Cummings - Shaq Riddick
Greg Madia - Brandon Golson
Marc Basham - Brandon Golson

"For WVU, they've added pieces like Shaq Riddick and Ed Muldrow. Those guys of course can get to the quarterback, but there isn't one guy it benefits more than Brandon Golson. Those guys will require attention, and instead of Golson maybe getting double-teamed, opposing defenses will have to try to block him one on one. I'll take Golson against slower-footed offensive tackles."-Greg Madia

Keenan Cummings - Dravon Henry
Greg Madia - Dravon Henry
Marc Basham - Daryl Worley

"I think it speaks volumes about a kid in Dravon Henry that was running with the ones in seven on seven just a few weeks after getting on campus. I know it was summer, I know there wasn't a ton of interaction with coaches, but regardless, a true freshman running with the ones speaks volumes about his talent level. He brings a lot of range in the secondary, he is a big guy that can move. If you take that brief glimpse we got in fall camp, seeing Henry pickoff Clint Trickett in a team drill, yeah maybe it was a bad pass, but Henry closed on ball, jumped and made the play look easy."-Keenan Cummings


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