- It's been a while since former rivals Pittsburgh and West Virginia got reacquainted
- West Virginia vs Pittsburgh Game Information
- The rebuilt secondary could hold the key for West Virginia
- Plenty of new faces on offense for Pittsburgh
- West Virginia vs Pittsburgh Head-to-Head
- West Virginia vs Pittsburgh Injury Report
- West Virginia vs Pittsburgh Prediction
It’s Been a While Since Former Rivals Pittsburgh and West Virginia Did Battle
It seems hard to believe that West Virginia and Pittsburgh, who played for 15 seasons in a row from 1997-2011, haven’t met on a football field in more than a decade. That certainly makes it challenging to figure out which way to lean when it comes to the West Virginia vs Pittsburgh odds.
Both teams will have new faces at quarterback with former USC passer Kedon Slovis recently being named the starter at Pittsburgh as Kenny Pickett headed off to the NFL. The well-traveled J.T. Daniels moved from Georgia to West Virginia after he also started his collegiate career in Southern California.
West Virginia has split its last four season openers against teams from Power-5 Conferences. Just two of Pittsburgh’s last eight season openers have come against Football Bowl Subdivision competition.
According to the college football point spreads, West Virginia (+20000) is tied for 33rd and Pittsburgh (+35000) is tied for the 55th best odds to win the national title.
Despite plenty of outgoing transfers, defending ACC champion Pittsburgh still has the third-best odds to win the conference title for the second year in a row. West Virginia (+2200) is eighth in the Big 12 championship odds.
West Virginia vs Pittsburgh Game Information
- Game: West Virginia Mountaineers (6-7, 4-5 in the Big 12 in 2021) vs Pittsburgh Panthers (11-3, 7-1 in the ACC)
- Location: Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh
- Television: ESPN
The Rebuilt Secondary Could Hold Key for West Virginia
Dante Stills is back to lead the defense. However, he figures to be surrounded by a host of transfers as seven of the 10 incoming transfers came on the defensive side of the ball.
Miami linebacker Tirek Austin-Cave, Colorado State cornerback Rashad Ajayi, North Dakota State linebacker Jasir Cox, Georgia Tech defensive lineman Michael Lockhart, James Madison cornerback Wesley McCormick, Murray State cornerback Marcis Floyd, and Cincinnati defensive end Zeiqui Lawson will certainly give the Mountaineers a different look on defense.
West Virginia brought in Daniels at quarterback and hired Graham Harrell as the offensive coordinator to bolster an offense that finished eighth in the Big 12 in total offense and ninth with an average of 5.4 yards per play.
Leading receiver Winston Wright has moved on. Bryce Ford-Wheaton and Sam James figure to build on solid 2021 campaigns.
Plenty of New Faces on Offense for Pittsburgh
Slovis, a former USC quarterback, is hoping to return to the form he displayed as a freshman when he completed 72% of his passes for 3,509 yards to go along with 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Pittsburgh returns all of its starters on the offensive line while Israel Abanikanda, Vincent Davis, and Rodney Hammond give Pittsburgh three players who had more than 100 carries a season ago. It will be interesting to see if Pittsburgh relies more on the running game in 2022.
With the departure of Addison, Jared Wayne is the top returning receiver with 47 catches, 658 yards, and six touchdowns.
Leading tackler Sirvocea Dennis leads the returnees on defense as 13 of the 20 players with at least 20 tackles a season ago are back.
When looking at the Pittsburgh Panthers football players, the defensive line could be a strength of the defense led by Habakkuk Baldonado (a team-high nine sacks) and Calijah Kancey (13 tackles for loss, seven sacks). Add in Deslin Alexandre, who was just named a team captain for the second season in a row and this could be a special unit.
Kancey earned second-team preseason All-American honors from the Associated Press.
Brandon Hill (79 tackles), Erick Hallett (72 tackles), Marquis Williams, A.J. Woods, and Judson Tallander return in the secondary.
West Virginia vs Pittsburgh Head-to-Head
The former conference rivals haven’t played since 2011 and that makes it hard to use past results to project any trends when pondering the West Virginia vs Pittsburgh odds. West Virginia has won the last three meetings and that includes a 35-10 victory on the road in 2010. Four of the last five games between the teams have been decided by four points or less.
Four of the last five matchups between the Mountaineers and Panthers have finished under the total.
West Virginia vs Pittsburgh Injury Report
For West Virginia, tight end Mike O’Laughlin is questionable with a knee injury.
West Virginia vs Pittsburgh Prediction
Both of these teams will look much different in 2022 than they did in 2021. That could be good news for West Virginia, but Pittsburgh wants things to go like they did a season ago.
The college football spreads list Pittsburgh as a seven-point favorite with the 50.5-point total one of the lower numbers in this week’s action.
West Virginia allowed the most sacks in the Big 12 last season and that is a concern facing a Pittsburgh team that should have one of the better defensive lines in the ACC. That matchup could impact the West Virginia vs Pittsburgh odds.
West Virginia has covered against the college football betting lines in just two of its last seven games against ACC teams. Pittsburgh has covered 11 of its last 15 games.
The total has gone under in five of West Virginia’s last six season openers while eight of Pittsburgh’s last 10 home games have finished under the total.
There are so many new faces coming in from other programs for both teams, and with no recent history, it is hard to get a feel for how this matchup will play out.Follow us on Twitter