West Virginia will be on the road for a Week 5 showdown in the Big 12 Conference vs. Texas on Saturday when we'll see two squads who desperately need to pick up a win. Both the Longhorns and Mountaineers sit at 2-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play this season, so this is an important game for both sides early on in the 2022 college football season.
Texas is coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to in-state rival Texas Tech, and it has to refocus quickly to avoid another disappointing defeat at the hands of West Virginia. The program was supposed to take a step forward in the second year under Steve Sarkisian, and losing to the Mountaineers would deliver a blow to those hopes. The Longhorns' quarterback situation is still up in the air with Quinn Ewers working his way back from a shoulder injury, so that will be something to monitor as kickoff approaches.
This is a prove-it year for West Virginia coach Neal Brown, and the results so far have been very mixed. The Mountaineers began the season with losses to Pittsburgh and Kansas before rebounding with decisive wins over Towson and Virginia Tech. West Virginia may have found something with its rushing attack, and that could give Texas some problems in this Big 12 clash.
How to watch Texas vs. West Virginia live
Date: Saturday, Oct. 1 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium - Austin, Texas
TV: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Three players to watch
Bijan Robinson, Texas RB: Texas' star running back has hit his stride over the last couple of games. Robinson exploded for 183 yards and three scores in the Longhorns' win over UTSA, and he totaled 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the team's loss to Texas Tech. One of the most electrifying players in college football, there's the potential for a touchdown every time Robinson gets the ball in his hands.
CJ Donaldson, West Virginia RB: A three-star freshman, Donaldson has immediately established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the backfield. At 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, Donaldson is a load in the running game, and he has posted some impressive numbers in his first four games, turning 52 carries into 380 yards and six touchdowns. That comes out to an impressive 7.3 yards per carry, and he could give the Longhorns some headaches.
Jaylan Ford, Texas LB: One of the players who will be tasked with shutting down Donaldson and the rest of the West Virginia rushing game is Ford. He leads the Longhorns with 38 tackles to go along with 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack. The junior linebacker brings experience and leadership to the middle of the Texas defense, and that will be needed if that unit is going to improve after a shaky performance in the loss to Texas Tech.
Texas vs. West Virginia prediction
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
It's tough to know exactly what to expect from these two teams based on how the season has begun for each program. On the one hand, Texas has plenty of talent on offense and should be able to score some points. However, last week's loss to Texas Tech was discouraging. On the other hand, West Virginia has shown some warts in the early going but seems to have found a rhythm with an effective running game. Ultimately, home-field advantage and Texas' best offensive players power the Longhorns to a win, but it will be close. Pick: West Virginia +9.5
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