NCAA Football

West Virginia Mountaineers 2015 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2015-16 Football Previews – (Big 12) – Mountaineers

It says a lot that West Virginia’s 33.5 ppg average last season was good for only fifth in the conference and 34th in the nation. Its passing game was particularly effective, with 317 pass yards per, on average.

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West Virginia

Big 12 Conference 2015-16 College Football Preview – West Virginia Mountaineers
Head Coach: Dana Holgorsen
2014 Record: 7-6
West Virginia BCS Odds: +30000
West Virginia Odds to win the Big 12: +1600
Odds from Bovada

This season presents a challenge in Morgantown because WVU’s starting pivot, Clint Trickett, and prodigiously talented wideouts Kevin White and Mario Alford are gone. To have the same scoring prowess, the Mountaineers need new faces to step up.

The Mountaineers return 14 starters, including the who’s who of their defense. Without the scoring being commensurate with a defense that should improve, however, WVU will be closer to scraping for bowl eligibility rather than contending for the conference crown.

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Everything being equal, let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses of the 2015 West Virginia Mountaineers.

Team Strengths:

Coach Holgorsen has this team playing with the proper mindset. As they proved against Baylor (41-27 win) and Oklahoma State (34-10 W) the Mountaineers can beat anybody. They believe it and use their athleticism to create space on offense and funnel to the ball defensively.

There are several impressive spots on the defense, notably at linebacker (veteran Nick Kwiatkoski is a gamer and talented senior Jared Barber returns from a knee ailment) and defensive back. The entire defensive secondary from last year returns in 2015, which will be led by Karl Joseph, Dravon Henry and Daryl Worley.

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The brightest spot on the other side of the ball is junior RB Rushel Shell. He struggled with injury in 2014, but if he can stay healthy, running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider described Shell as “a young Marshawn Lynch.” Ample praise, to be sure.

The special teams unit is in great shape with kicker Josh Lambert, a Groza Award finalist, and thunder-footed punter Nick O’Toole.

Team Weaknesses:

With the absence of Trickett, the focus is on JUCO transfer QB Skyler Howard. He is talented, but raw. If he can’t get the job done, it will likely come down to freshman William Crest. Even in a time of college football with a dearth of QBs, it isn’t a nice problem for your team to have.

The Mountaineers will also miss White and Alford. They did most of the heavy lifting last year catching the football. Senior WR Jordan Thompson did have 49 receptions last year, so he’s proven himself as a valuable possession guy.

West Virginia’s defensive line leaves something to be desired, and senior nose tackle Kyle Rose is embroiled in legal trouble.

2015-16 West Virginia Mountaineers Prediction: 7-6

Holgorsen has rolled out competitive teams since WVU has been in the Big 12, but in a tough conference, his guys have had difficulty breaking through.

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It looks to be much of the same narrative this time around. West Virginia hosts Maryland in Week 3 and then has a murderous October, where they travel to Oklahoma, Baylor and TCU. If they lose all those road games, the Mountaineers will probably just scrape into bowl eligibility.

2015 Mountaineers Schedule (All times EST)

9/5/15 7:30 PM GA. SOUTH.
9/12/15 3:00 PM LIB
9/26/15 TBD MARY
10/3/15 TBD @ OU
10/10/15 TBD OK. ST.
10/17/15 TBD @BAYLOR
10/29/15 7:30 PM @ TCU
11/7/15 TBD TX. TECH
11/14/15 TBD TEXAS
11/21/15 TBD @ KANS
11/28/15 TBD IA. ST.
12/5/15 TBD @ KSU

Check out our Updated College Football Odds.
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By James Hayes

James has been naming every player on the EA Sports video game rosters for half a decade now, he’s finally putting his knowledge to better use writing for us here at Your comments are welcome below…Give Us Your Take!