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Oklahoma Football vs. West Virginia: Game preview, storylines & predictions

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Can Oklahoma avoid a letdown performance after the Red River Shootout?

Iowa State v West Virginia Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Time & TV: Saturday, 11 a.m. CT, FOX

Commentators: Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Joel Klatt (analyst) and sideline reporter Jenny Taft.

Line: Oklahoma -32.5 (as of Friday at 7 p.m. CT)

O/U: 63

Q&A with The Smoking Musket

Jack’s Gambling Picks

Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast (Ep. 36): Alex Grinch’s Oklahoma defense stifles Texas, West Virginia preview with The Smoking Musket, and more!

Storylines

Austin Kendall’s return to Oklahoma

It’s no mystery that Austin Kendall returns to Norman after becoming a grad transfer for Neal Brown’s Mountaineers. Kendall was Lincoln Riley’s first QB recruit to Norman and it was quite the awkward situation when there was a hold-up regarding Austin’s status after he decided to transfer.

Of course, Lincoln Riley says there are certainly no hard feelings and that he wishes the best for Austin Kendall after he did eventually allow him to be eligible anywhere. Kendall is completing 66 percent of his passes and has thrown 9 TDs and 7 interceptions (4 of which belong to Texas). Austin will certainly look to put his best foot forward against his former team on Saturday.

Can the Sooners avoid a post-RRS mental lapse?

Lincoln Riley and Alex Grinch’s Oklahoma Sooners are coming off of an emotional high after dominating Texas in the Red River Shootout:

This game will show whether or not Oklahoma has the right mentality moving forward in order to become a true contender for a national championship. If the Sooners come out of the tunnel in Norman, Okla. in the morning of homecoming razor-sharp and focused, it would really say something about their mental preparation and team leadership. Quite honestly, if you have a Jalen Hurts and Kenneth Murray as your leaders and Alphas of the team, not being focused on the task at hand doesn’t seem like something to worry about.

Alternate Uniforms

The Sooners will be wearing their “Rough Rider” uniforms this weekend per usual against the West Virginia Mountaineers:

I would love it if they wore the white helmets instead, but hey, you can’t please everybody. Fans need to be prepared for the “traditionalists” who complain about the “sanctity of Oklahoma Sooner brand” this weekend because of jersey alternates (despite the uniform being altered plenty of times throughout the program’s history). Quite frankly, I love that Oklahoma wants to give itself a different look (although it might be time for a new alternate design), and I really enjoyed it when Lincoln Riley’s team donned them in the 2018 Big 12 title game against Texas. If it excites the players and recruits, do it.

Prediction

I think an 11 a.m. kickoff after a Texas win will leave the Sooners a little dreary and West Virginia will score a bit. However, Oklahoma has the power of the punch on both sides of the trenches and should be able to smack the Mountaineers early and often. Austin Kendall will hit some passes, but he ends up on his back far more often than he throws touchdown passes.

Oklahoma 48, West Virginia 24