It’s been a bit of hot and cold for college football fans in West Virginia. WVU and Marshall both opened the season 1-1 but appear to be trending in different directions after Week 2 losses.
Here’s a look at where each team stands as the college football season rolls into Week 3.
In addition to the three sportsbooks at land-based casinos, bettors in WV now have two legal online betting options:
WVU football struggles to a slow start
While the Mountaineers opened the season with a 1-1 record, that might not show the full tale of the tape. It’s been a struggle so far from a team that lost considerable talent last season.
The team just squeaked by an FCS team, James Madison, to start the season. The Mountaineers won 20-13 but that’s not impressive considering the lower level of competition than what they’ll find in Big 12 play.
Some of the team’s struggles came on the ground. Martell Pettaway led the team with 9 rushes for only 20 yards.
A bright spot was some solid numbers from quarterback Austin Kendall, who went 24 of 42 for 260 yards and 2 TDs. That included no interceptions.
The defense also produced four sacks and an interception. But overall it wasn’t a great performance.
Some bettors were able to get WVU as a 6-point favorite and cashed tickets. However, that line offers some insight into what bookmakers think of the team.
Less than a touchdown favorite against an FCS school? At home? That’s not a good sign, and the books proved correct in Week 2.
Missouri brings a beatdown
The Mountaineers faced its first FBS team and first game on the road in Week 2. The trip offered a chance at redemption after struggling to a win over James Madison.
WVU football was a 13.5-point underdog against Missouri, and bettors were rewarded for taking the Mountaineers’ opponent.
After a Week 1 loss to Wyoming, the Tigers thrashed WVU 38-7. Kendall passed for only 137 yards and was picked off twice. Backup quarterback Jack Allison also threw an interception that was returned for a TD.
The ground game was again stymied with Alec Sinkfield leading the team with 9 rushes for 27 yards. Are these first two performances the sign of a trend to expect this season?
Head coach Neal Brown announced that some starting positions would be up for grabs this week. Some new names were also on the depth chart WVU released this week.
Brown commented to 247Sports.
“We’re just going to give a bunch of guys opportunities Tuesday and Wednesday and we’re going to make those jobs competitive.”
It will be interesting to see how the team responds in the coming weeks. Fans and bettors alike will be watching.
Marshall Herd optimistic heading into week 3
On the flip side of WVU, Marshall notched an impressive win to start the season. The team also came close in a matchup against a ranked opponent.
It wasn’t a perfect start, but the Herd hopes the momentum continues.
In Week 1, FCS school Virginia Military Institute came to town. DraftKings and FanDuel weren’t offering point spreads for the matchup, but the Herd delivered for fans.
Quarterback Isaiah Green had a career night going 18 of 28 for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Tyler King carried 10 times for 75 yards and five different players caught TD passes. One of those even came from backup quarterback Alex Thomson.
The defense produced four sacks and an interception. Talik Keaton provided some special teams fireworks with a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Broncos dull the Thunder
Week 2 provided a much tougher challenge – traveling to take on No. 22-ranked Boise State. The Broncos knocked off Florida State a week earlier, but Marshall jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
However, the offense just couldn’t get on track. Green was held to only 56 yards passing with no TDs and one interception.
Boise State scores in the second and third quarters produced a 14-7 victory for the Broncos. It was a frustrating end after such a solid defensive performance that included an interception and fumble recovery.
The offense produced only 59 yards in the final three quarters and only nine total first downs.
Marshall head coach Doc Holliday spoke about the loss to the Huntington Herald-Dispatch.
“Our defense played well. Offensively, we’ve got to make more plays. We had a couple turnovers there that we shouldn’t have had. Boise is an excellent football team, but I think we’re a good football team as well. It was just a battle.”
College football week 3 matchups and betting lines
As college football rolls into its third week of action, WVU fans will be hoping for some improvement. The Mountaineers host North Carolina State and will need a better performance.
The Wolfpack are 2-0 after big wins over East Carolina and Western Carolina. They enter the game as a big road favorite.
Marshall squares off this week at home against Ohio University, a member of the Mid-American Conference. The Bobcats opened the season 1-1 with a 41-20 win over Rhode Island and a 20-10 loss to Pittsburgh.
The Herd was picked as the top team in the east in the Conference USA preseason media poll. WV online sportsbooks have some big expectations for a nice season. The team hopes to get back on track this week and is a solid home favorite against Ohio.
NC State vs. WVU
- NC State -6.5 (DraftKings and FanDuel)
- WVU +6.5 (DraftKings and FanDuel)
Draftkings has the over/under at 46, while FanDuel has it 49.5.
Ohio vs. Marshall
- Ohio +5.5 (DraftKings and FanDuel) 49 50.5
- Marshall -5.5 (DraftKings and FanDuel)
DraftKings has the over/under at 50.5, while FanDuel has it 49.