Missouri has a new coaching staff and a new outlook, but will the team really be better? Can West Virginia kick its season off with a bang? Check out the Missouri vs. West Virginia fearless prediction and preview.
Missouri vs. West Virginia Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 3rd
Game Time: 12:00 am ET
Venue: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV
Why Missouri Will Win
The defense is going to be just as good, If not better. How do you slow down the veteran, high-powered Mountaineer offense? You get into the backfield on a consistent basis, and the Tigers should be able to do that without a problem.
The Mountaineer O line should be a strength throughout the year, but it’s going to have to deal with the ramped up pressure coming from several different spots. QB Skyler Howard has to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry and has to dictate a quick tempo from the start to keep the Tigers from getting comfortable. The problem will be the Mizzou defense that’ll force Howard to hurry when he doesn’t want to.
The pressure is all on WVU. The expectations are set relatively low for the Tigers considering how bad the offense was last year and with the new staff in place, but a few takeaways could quickly swing the momentum the visitors’ way.
This D could screw things up in the opener. As experienced as WVU is, it’s still the first game of the year with no tune-up.
Why West Virginia Will Win
Yeah, the Tiger defense will be fantastic, but if West Virginia can generate a few early scores and put the pressure on offensive coordinator Josh Heupel’s offense to force the attack to do something it can’t, it could get ugly.
The explosion still isn’t going to be there for Mizzou, needing to dink and dunk to try moving the chains – that was an epic fail last season. Moving to a quicker tempo should help the O a little bit, but West Virginia has a pretty good defense, too, and isn’t going to give up much of anything against the run on the inside. Force Missouri to throw vertically, and bad things will happen.
And if this somehow does grow into any sort of a shootout, West Virginia is far more prepared and equipped to handle it. The Mountaineers have the weapons; the Tigers don’t.
What’s Going To Happen?
Call this the litmus test game for West Virginia. Missouri will be far better this season and should end up going bowling, but it’s still trying to figure out how to play offense again under a new staff. Meanwhile, Dana Holgorsen has the pieces in place for the Mountaineers to blow up at times.
That’s not going to happen against one of the best defenses in the country, but WVU will overcome a few opening game mistakes and turnovers to survive in a bigger fight than the investment community might like.
Missouri vs. West Virginia Prediction
Final Score: West Virginia 27, Missouri 23
Line: West Virginia -10, o/u: 50
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 4
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 4