247Sports’ Josh Pate has high hopes for the WVU football team this year. In the past few months he’s spoken about how JT Daniels will be a difference-maker at WVU and listed WVU over Pitt in the 2022 backyard brawl as an upset to watch.
This time though, he’s listed WVU’s 5.5 over/under as one of his four win total best bets.
“Our model has West Virginia about 20 spots higher than an aggregation of a lot of the preview magazines do,” said Pate.
The common prediction around the preview magazines, and the national media as a whole, is 6-6 for WVU. Pate mentions that he only uses that as a reference because the AP Poll isn’t out and he doesn’t trust FPI rankings.
”We are higher on West Virginia,” said Pate. “We really like the over 5.5 on West Virginia. This is evenly juiced at Ceasers, minus 15 either way.
”If they make a bowl, we win. That’s really cut and dry. I have a better feeling about them in 2022 than I did in 2021, they won six games last year.”
He then goes through the schedule, highlighting the Pitt game before “going off the radar” against Kansas and Towson before coming “back on the radar” at Virginia Tech. He then talks about the team surrounding the incoming players, including an offensive line that returns all five of their starters.
”They’ve got an offensive line virtually intact,” said Pate. “They got really good weapons for (Daniels) to throw the ball to. JT Daniels is not coming in and being looked at by the locals asking him to carry them, now that’s a tall ask. But again, the numbers aren’t 8.5 they’re 5.5”
The common reasoning though for people doubting WVU this year are the new additions for the secondary, which we highlighted here as the unit that can make or break the team. Pate argues that the backfield isn’t a weakness, but more of a question mark implying that the secondary could be a strength for the team.
”This is just a vibe that I’ve gotten there,” said Pate. “I do think it’s valid to be concerned about that, but I don’t think that it’s necessarily a weakness for them as much as it is a question.”
He summed up his thoughts by saying he thinks the team can win through their air attack and he expects Neal Brown to take a jump, at least enough to hit the over on 5.5 wins.