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The "Low Point" in Each of WVU's Five Games

October 10,2018 05:16

West Virginia is currently ranked No. 6 in the country and have not lost a game this year, sitting at 5-0 on the season. In fact, the Mountaineers have never trailed in a game this season. Has there ever even been a point where the team has been ...and more »


ByChris Anderson 17 hours ago
West Virginia is currently ranked No. 6 in the country and have not lost a game this year, sitting at 5-0 on the season. In fact, the Mountaineers have never trailed in a game this season. Has there ever even been a point where the team has been threatened? It's hard to quantify that, but ESPN has an in-game Win Probability that updates after every key play in every game. We went through and looked at each of the Mountaineers' five games and found the point in each one where WVU had the least chance to win the game. 

SLIDE 1 of 5
vs Tennessee in Charlotte, North Carolina - 62.8-percent

(Photo: Getty) 
West Virginia opened the game with a 63.3-percent chance of winning the game, per ESPN's win probability. That was nearly the low point for the entire game, which is not that surprising since the Mountaineers forced a three-and-out to start the game, and then was the first team to score. However, the true low point came a little over halfway through the second quarter. The Mountaineers were up 10-0 and then allowed Tennessee to score on a fourth down play. On the ensuing drive, WVU's offense went backwards a yard and punted after three plays. That moment - with 6:13 left in the first half - was Tennessee's best chance to beat the Mountaineers. 

SLIDE 2 of 5
vs Youngstown State - 95.4-percent

(Photo: Ben Queen, USA TODAY Sports) 
Not surprisingly, this one was never really in doubt. You may have forgotten, though, that Youngstown State actually had an opportunity to take the lead in the first quarter. West Virginia got the ball first and methodically made their way down the field. However, on a 3rd-and-5, Will Grier's pass was intercepted, and that moment was the Penguins' best chance to win the game - measly 4.6-percent chance. 

SLIDE 3 of 5
vs Kansas State - 83.3-percent

(Photo: Ben Queen, USA TODAY Sports) 
Much like the Tennessee game, West Virginia's odds were nearly the lowest to start the game at 87.5-percent. The Mountaineers immediately started moving the ball, but a first drive interception bumped them back down around the same mark. After getting a stop, West Virginia's offense was moving the ball again.... and then Leddie Brown's fumble happened in Kansas State territory. That dropped the odds down into the 84-percent range, but the ensuing 15-yard penalty on WVU knocked the odds down even more. 

SLIDE 4 of 5
at Texas Tech - 37.9-percent

(Photo: Getty) 
The only time this season, the Mountaineers were not favored to win a game. And when did that happen? Before the game ever started. Texas Tech had a 62.1-percent chance of beating the Mountaineers in Lubbock, but West Virginia's fast start - 21-0 in the first quarter - knocked the odds up into the 80-percent range and higher pretty quick. Even as the Red Raiders came storming back and cut it to one score in the fourth quarter, West Virginia had a 90-plus percent chance of winning the game. 

SLIDE 5 of 5
vs Kansas - 87.3-percent

(Photo: Getty) 
West Virginia opened with a 92-percent chance of winning the game, and the odds hovered between there and 97-percent for much of the game, even with the three red zone interceptions in the first half. At the 6:37 mark of the third quarter, though, the fourth turnover gave Kansas their best shot (relatively speaking) of winning the game. This was a 3rd-and-20 play when Will Grier was sacked and fumbled the ball. Kansas recovered at their own 44-yard line and down only 21-14. 

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