WVU Football: Can The Mountaineers Salvage The 2019 Season?

Posted on November 4, 2019 - Last Updated on April 29, 2020

It’s been a difficult time for the WVU Mountaineers football team thus far this year. Coming into the season, fans knew that 2019 could be a frustrating experience with so much change surrounding the team.

Neal Brown entered as the new coach in Morgantown with the departure of Dana Holgorsen. The Mountaineers also knew they’d be starting the season with a new quarterback as Will Grier was drafted into the NFL.

Even though expectations are always somewhat high at WVU, the consensus was that this year might be a step back from the norm.

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One major bright spot during the summer was the potential of new transfer Austin Kendall. The quarterback was highly regarded out of high school but never received a true opportunity at Oklahoma.

Many around the team assumed he would take over as the lead signal-caller, however, Kendall struggled to win the starting positions at fall camp. In the end, he won the job, but the fact that it took some time was not encouraging.

When it was time to take the field, things started looking up for the Mountaineers. Despite just squeaking by FCS opponent James Madison in their opener, they went on to start the year by winning three of the first four games.

WVU’s best performance came in front of the home crowd at Milan Puskar Stadium against the NC State Wolfpack. The Mountaineers were seven-point underdogs and yet still managed to take down NC State, 44-27.

The hot start and re-emergence of online sports betting apps in West Virginia led to a big rise in wagering figures. After just a few weeks, it was evident that bettors in the Mountain State thoroughly enjoyed having the two online options available in the state:

As the calendar turns to November, let’s take a look at the first two months of the 2019 season as well as WVU’s chances of success going forward.

WVU football struggles in October

WVU finished out the month of September riding high. It won its third game of the season by defeating Kansas on the road, 29-24. With a 3-1 record, coach Brown was feeling good about his team entering the first bye of the year.

Since that time, it has gone extremely downhill for the Mountaineers. The team lost its first three October matchups and unfortunately looked worse in each game.

Following an 11-point loss at home to Texas, the Mountaineers got blown out by both Iowa State and Oklahoma.

The Mountaineers lost those two games by a combined score of 90-28.

While this tough stretch certainly isn’t a good look for WVU, its opponents were absolutely a factor in how poorly WVU played. Iowa State and Texas are both 5-3 overall with very solid teams, and OU is on an entirely different playing field.

Before their loss this past weekend, the Sooners were ranked in the top five in the country. They are still a contender to make the College Football Playoff.

Regardless of the competition, WVU fans and backers at WV sportsbooks would love to see a little more competitiveness out of the team. Since covering the spread in several of their first few matchups, the Mountaineers have yet to in the month of October.

November Goals fo WVU football

Of course, this season won’t be viewed as a great year for WVU football, but the team can still accomplish plenty and set itself up for a successful 2020. With four games remaining on the schedule, the Mountaineers have multiple opportunities to right the ship and even win a few games.

Although every week in the Big 12 is a difficult game, WVU’s last four opponents are much closer to its talent level. Despite the fact that WVU will most likely be considered underdogs in each game, all four teams are beatable.

November features two home games and two away, so there’s a chance that Mountaineer fans are able to witness another victory. WVU will battle Texas Tech and Oklahoma State in Morgantown, while it will travel to Kansas State and TCU.

A realistic goal for this team would be to split its final few games. Two wins in the month would have the Mountaineers most likely finish with a 5-7 record overall. For a team that is basically re-building, that’s not such a terrible result under a first-year head coach.

Even though expectations are always very high, fans must understand that growing as a program takes time with a new coach. Brown’s first recruits won’t take the field until this upcoming spring.

If WVU can finish 2019 strong, then there’s no reason to not have high hopes going forward. Its football program is still one of the best around and it will continue to bring in a lot of talented players.

It will be a tough road to get back to the top of the Big 12 with the likes of Texas and OU, but the Mountaineers can absolutely get there in a few years.

2020 WVU football Schedule

As the WVU football team wraps up this season, it’s never too early to look ahead to 2020. WVU’s schedule recently released and helps provide some insight as to how the Mountaineers might fare next year.

Even though the majority of the teams listed on the schedule are known conference foes, it’s interesting to see when and where each game is being played.

As far as out of conference opponents go, next year’s schedule features a mixed bag. WVU will play Florida State in the season opener at a neutral site in Atlanta. It will also take on Eastern Kentucky as well as Maryland at home in the first few Saturdays in September.

Of course, things change, but based on how this season is going, all three of the Mountaineers’ non-conference games are very winnable.

Here is WVU’s full schedule, with the start times to be announced at a later date:

DateOpponentKickoff Radio
Sept. 5, 2020Florida State (in Atlanta, GA)TBATBATBA
Sept. 12, 2020Eastern KentuckyTBATBATBA
Sept. 19, 2020MarylandTBATBATBA
Sept. 26, 2020Kansas StateTBATBATBA
Oct. 3, 2020@ Texas TechTBATBATBA
Oct. 17, 2020@ TexasTBATBATBA
Oct. 24, 2020KansasTBATBATBA
Oct. 31, 2019BYE
Nov. 7, 2020OklahomaTBATBATBA
Nov. 14, 2020@ Oklahoma StateTBATBATBA
Nov. 21, 2020BaylorTBATBATBA
Nov. 28, 2020@ Iowa SateTBATBATBA
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Chris Imperiale

Chris Imperiale covers sports betting and the online casino industries. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.

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