MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) enters the bye week still searching for its first conference win of the season.
The Mountaineers suffered its most-lopsided loss of the season Saturday night in Austin, falling to Texas (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) by a final score of 38-20. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak that evened up West Virginia’s overall record and saw both the offense and defense operate at a high level.
WVU does not have a Week 6 opponent, meaning it will spend the next 11 days preparing for a Thursday night home matchup against Baylor and the remainder of the regular-season schedule.
“In our league, and that’s what we got the rest of the way is league games, is league games,” said WVU head coach Neal Brown. “And you got a chance to win them all, and you got a chance to lose them all. And it’s going to be really tightly contested, not just for us but for everybody.”
Facing a nationally ranked Baylor Bears (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) team is the start of what appears to be a daunting second-half slate for the Mountaineers. One metric ranks West Virginia as having the second-hardest remaining schedule in the country.
Beginning with Baylor, the Mountaineers are scheduled to face four ranked teams over the final seven games. That number could change, especially depending on the play of TCU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), which is currently undefeated, and Oklahoma (3-2, 0-2 Big 12), which has stumbled out of the gates.
The good news for Brown and company is that three games against currently ranked opponents will be played inside Milan Puskar Stadium.
The Mountaineers will play four of their final seven games at home. However, those four opponents have a combined win-loss record of 14-5 through the opening five weeks of the season.
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As it stands now, all seven teams remaining on WVU’s schedule have a winning record. Nearly half of those teams have one or fewer losses.
A top-ten Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) team is the only remaining road opponent for WVU that fits into that category. But the road venues the Mountaineers must travel to are not the easiest places to play.
Starting in Stillwater, where West Virginia will end its regular season, the Mountaineers are 2-4 there all-time. WVU is also 2-8 against Oklahoma State, overall, since joining the Big 12.
Week 8 sees West Virginia traveling to Lubbock, Texas to face the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. West Virginia is 3-2 in Lubbock all-time, but this Texas Tech team has already defeated then-ranked Houston and Texas teams at home.
Two weeks later, the Mountaineers will travel to Ames, Iowa, for a clash with Iowa State. WVU is 3-2 inside the home of the Cyclones, but has lost in each of its last two trips to the Hawkeye State.
Overall, West Virginia’s remaining opponents have a combined record of 24-9 (.727 W%).
Here is a look at West Virginia’s remaining schedule, in order:
Week 6 – Idle
Week 7 – vs. Baylor (3-2 ovr, 1-1 conf), Thursday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m. ET
Week 8 – @ Texas Tech (3-2 ovr, 1-1 conf), Saturday, Oct. 22, Time TBD
Week 9 – vs. TCU (4-0 ovr, 1-0 conf), Saturday, Oct. 29, Time TBD
Week 10 – @ Iowa State (3-2 ovr, 0-2 conf), Saturday, Nov. 5, Time TBD
Week 11 – vs. Oklahoma (3-2 ovr, 0-2 conf), Saturday, No. 12, Time TBD
Week 12 – vs. Kansas State (4-1 ovr, 2-0 conf), Saturday, Nov. 19, Time TBD
Week 13 – @ Oklahoma State (4-0 ovr, 1-0 conf), Saturday, Nov. 26, Time TBD