3. Win the turnover battle
West Virginia’s style of play does not afford them the luxury of making mistakes and still coming out victorious. In fact, their first three losses (at Penn State, at Houston, vs. Oklahoma State) can be attributed to mishaps, mental errors, and turnovers.
On Saturday night, the Oklahoma Sooners dismantled the Mountaineers by a final score of 59-20 in Norman. This loss was the lone outlier on the season filled with close games. The biggest example of this point being key came in their victory on the road over the UCF Knights. UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee was 25-of-36 for 274 yards and three touchdowns. RJ Harvey had 100 yards on the ground for the Knights on just 14 carries. As a team, the Knights ran for 189 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per carry.
What allowed the Mountaineers to win by 13 on the road? The Knights had four costly turnovers, while the Mountaineers had just one. Beanie Bishop Jr. had two big-time interceptions that helped to carry the Mountaineers to victory. If West Virginia isn’t able to create turnovers against the Sooners on Saturday, it could prove to be a long night for the Mountaineers.
The same can be said for their last two opponents (Cincinnati and Baylor) as they must create and take advantage of opposing teams’ miscues.