Key No. 3: Pressure the Quarterback
West Virginia quarterback Jarret Doege is experienced and ranks among the 10 best passers in the nation among power conference signal-callers with 258.9 passing yards per game.
The Mountaineers’ offensive line has been decent at protecting the fifth-year senior, only allowing a little more than two sacks per game.
In last week’s 38-31 win against Iowa State, Doege threw for 370 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. A quartet of West Virginia wide receivers had at least five catches each in the win, and notably, the Cyclones did not record a sack.
In a 45-20 loss at Baylor in Week 6, however, the Bears were able to pressure Doege for the entire game, forcing him into an interception and recording five sacks overall. The senior signal-caller has thrown for 2,071 yards, 11 touchdowns, and seven interceptions this season.
Incredibly, Doege has thrown for 9,517 yards and 71 touchdowns during his career at West Virginia and Bowling Green, dating back to 2017. Only four other active quarterbacks in the FBS have more career passing yards: Iowa State’s Brock Purdy, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, South Alabama’s Jack Bentley, and Utah’s Charlie Brewer.
Despite some key early-season injuries, the OSU defensive line has been one of the team’s strengths. Freshman defensive end Collin Oliver is in the midst of a breakout year, recording the second-most sacks (4.5) of any freshman in the nation so far in 2021.
If fellow Cowboys D-line players like Brock Martin and Jayden Jernigan can get pressure on Doege, the Cowboys will have a better chance a pulling off the road victory. OSU can’t afford to let Doege stand comfortably in the pocket like he was in last week’s win against Iowa State.