The West Virginia Mountaineers are heading into a huge Big 12 conference game this week against the Oklahoma Sooners. Skyler Howard’s Mountaineers are currently the No. 23 ranked team in the country, while the Sooners are ranked No. 15 in the country. West Virginia has a tough task ahead of them heading into hostile territory, but they strongly believe that they can come out with a win.
Throughout the first three games of the season, Howard has put together impressive numbers. He has completed 69.0 percent of his passes for 916 yards, nine touchdowns and just one interception.
Perhaps the biggest surprise about the West Virginia offense has been the running game. Head coach Dana Holgorsen has always been a pass first type of coach, but that has changed a bit this year. Howard is still more than capable of putting up massive numbers through the air, but he is getting the help to do it consistently.
Howard saw some action last year when Clint Trickett went down with an injury, but he has been playing well above the expectations that many set for him.
Oklahoma is going to be the biggest game that Howard has played yet and there will be a lot of pressure on his shoulders. He is going up against a very tough opposing quarterback in Baker Mayfield, which is a battle that will be tough to win itself. The Sooners may not have an amazing defense, but they have quite a few playmakers and the ability to put pressure on the quarterback.
Howard simply has to keep his cool and play to the talent that he has shown so far this season. He has not folded under any pressure that has been thrown his way and absolutely shredded the Maryland defense last week.
That type of performance isn’t likely to be repeated this week, but he is still more than capable of putting up massive numbers.
That being said, West Virginia has a chance to make a major impact statement against the Sooners. Winning this type of a rivalry game between two ranked teams is never easy and it would definitely gain them quite a bit of recognition.
As the starting quarterback, the pressure is on Howard to step up and be a major leader in a very hostile stadium. He has to take command of his team and it will also give him a chance to prove to NFL scouts that he is the real deal.
Expect to see Howard rise to the occasion and put up a big game against the Sooners.
Whether West Virginia will pull out a big conference win is another question, but it won’t be because Howard didn’t play well.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports