3 keys to West Virginia Football ending the season strong against Oklahoma State

Motivation might be hard to find in a game that won’t change much for the Mountaineers, but ending the 2022 season with a win, even without the possibility of a bowl game, could help give fans hope for the future give. The distinction of being the first West Virginia team to defeat both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the same season is also something head coach Neal Brown and the players spoke of wanting to achieve.

The Cowboys are vulnerable and going through their own troubles, making a win for a 4-7 WVU team on the road a real possibility. But for this game, there are three things WVU must do no matter what the outcome.

Get Nicco Marchiol game action

If there’s a blessing for WVU not to play for a bowl game in Week 13, it’s an opportunity to take a look at younger players in a game against a conference opponent. As for the quarterback, the obvious thought would be to give starter Garrett Greene as much time as possible, but he’s not the only talented quarterback on the roster.

Greene deserves to keep going, especially since he could very well end up being the guy to open next season unless the Mountaineers go back to the portal and bring in a veteran, a move that didn’t work out for JT Daniels . But with that said, winning freshman Nicco Marchiol against an actually legitimate FBS team could also do wonders for his progression. He has played in one game this season but it was against FCS Towson. This could be an opportunity to actually see what Marchiol can do when he has FBS talent without costing the team anything. And let’s face it, there’s also the thought that if Greene, a sophomore, is the WVU starter in 2023, Marchiol might decide to switch as it could mean he has up to two more seasons as a backup sitting down, which probably wouldn’t be attractive to recruit who had other options. Perhaps giving Marchiol the fourth quarter or even the second half could help placate the young quarterback, and perhaps that’s more important than any other reason to play him too.

Present, future of the QB position a ray of hope for WVU

demonstrate energy

The most frustrating thing about such a tough season for WVU was the inconsistency of performances. That means a solid performance is followed by a sluggish start to the next week’s game, often resulting in being blown out. It all started when WVU was upset after a close away game against Pitt amid a rowdy atmosphere at home by Kansas. Successfully defending the Black Diamond Trophy in Blacksburg with a nationally televised win over Virginia Tech was followed by a loss to Texas. The shine of a big win over Baylor was soured with a poor performance in Lubbock and a 48-10 loss to Texas Tech the next week. Play tight against TCU, the undefeated division of the Big 12, and then fail to move the ball against Iowa State’s worst-performing team in the conference. It’s been a rollercoaster season for the Mountaineers.

WVU fans deserve to see their team play hard, even with nothing on the line. Seeing this proud team play well could at least provide a happy ending to an otherwise miserable season.

If nothing else, mind the football and try to force takeaways

Only once in the entire season was WVU able to win a game while losing revenue margin. Oddly enough, it was the program’s first win over Oklahoma since joining the Big 12. But revenue has been an issue throughout the year. JT Daniels, who was the team’s starting quarterback until Garrett Greene replaced him early against the Sooners and then led the team to victory, threw interceptions at the end of the loss to both Pitt and Kansas, leading to the first 0-2 start led season for the program since 1979.

Daniels threw three picks against Texas Tech, each of which made the Mountaineers’ day worse. Greene’s two interceptions in last week’s loss to Kansas State left some wondering if the Oklahoma game might not be the norm for him under center. This all took place as the WVU defense struggled to generate takeaways in most games. Turning the ball around while not forcing turnovers is tantamount to a lost season without a bowl game of any kind.

How Can the West Virginia Defense Force More Revenue?

No matter what happens on Saturday, the 2022 season will go down in history as one of the worst for the West Virginia program, certainly in recent memory. And three lost seasons in four years, especially on a program that only saw three lost seasons from 1999 to 2018, looks bad for Brown. Those are both facts, but all that’s left to do now is wrap up the season and provide a reason for something positive, something that hasn’t been enough of all season.

Welcome to the new home of WVU football and basketball breaking news, analysis and recruitment. Like us on Facebook, follow us Twitter and visit us on YouTube. And don’t forget to subscribe to all of our articles, delivered straight to your inbox.