Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

November 13, 2018 at 10:39 pm.

Enigmatic Oklahoma State next for Mountaineers

West Virginia continues to roll through the Big 12, as the No. 9 Mountaineers pummeled TCU last week to stay on track for a spot in the league championship game. But there are two huge hurdles to navigate between now and the first Saturday in December, both from the state of Oklahoma, beginning with this week’s road test at powerful and dangerous Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys have been enigmatic this season, losing big to the likes of Kansas State and Texas Tech but beating Boise State and Texas and coming within a failed two-point conversion of defeating Oklahoma last Saturday in Norman.

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday that he expects the good version of Oklahoma State to line up against this squad this week and is preparing for such.

“I know what we’re going to expect to see,” Holgorsen said about the Cowboys. “They’re scary. They can score points and can look really good at times.”

West Virginia’s offense heads to Stillwater after producing a 535-yard, 47-point performance against TCU last Saturday in Morgantown.

Heisman Trophy contender Will Grier had his highest graded performance of the season after completing 25-of-39 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns. Only two of Grier’s 14 incomplete passes against the Horned Frogs were off target as the others were dropped.

“Grier played lights out against TCU,” Holgorsen said. “He controlled the whole game. He controlled the tempo. He understood when to push it and when to not push it. He got a bead on what they were doing defensively and got us into some better plays.

“He’s playing at a pretty high level and obviously we’re going to need that type of performance moving forward.”

Eight different players caught passes from Grier, including five for 86 yards and a touchdown from emerging tight end Trevon Wesco, who was named West Virginia’s offensive player of the game by the coaching staff for the second straight week.

Wesco’s 86 receiving yards led the Mountaineers, the first time a tight end has done that in 16 years.

“It’s a big game — a big Big 12 game,” Holgorsen said of the battle coming with Oklahoma State. “It doesn’t get any better than this, so we need to have a good week of practice and get out there, travel the right way and be ready for a hostile environment and handle it the way we know how we can if we want to continue to win to remain in the conversation. This is a huge hurdle.”