Coach Bob Stoops challenged his home crowd to be a factor Saturday when Oklahoma faced an unbeaten West Virginia team for its 2015 Big 12 opener. “We’ve had an opportunity in each of the first three games to play upwards of 25 to 28 guys on defense“.
“By no means do we have everything figured out, but we held a good Georgia Southern team down from what their rushing total number is”, said Mountaineer head coach Dana Holgorsen. “I reflect back – I have often – I said it today on my radio show, I reflected back to the bowl game with Michigan State and Baylor (last season)”.
The Odds: Oklahoma is a 7 point favorite against West Virginia. The Sooners have been rolling on that side of the ball, with transfer quarterback Baker Mayfield leading the charge.
West Virginia answered early in the second quarter with an 86-yard touchdown drive that was aided by 45 yards in penalties by the Sooners. Now they go on the road for the beef of their schedule-the Big 12 Conference-and this is the third straight season WVU and the Sooners open the Big 12 slate against each other.
The Oklahoma Sooners and West Virginia Mountaineers start Big XII play raked in the top 25. Yes, for the first time in 72 games.
From Saturday’s career-high 13 tackles, one obviously stood out to Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker. “From their quarterback Skylar Howard to running backs (Wendell) Smallwood and (Rushel) Shell and wideouts (Shelton) Thompson, (Jovon) Durant and (Dakiel) Shorts Jr., they have playmakers all over the field”. West Virginia, known for its high-powered offense and less than average defense, has finally flipped the tables.
The Sooners edged WVU in 2012 on Landry Jones” pass to Kenny Stills with 24 seconds remaining in a rock “em, sock ’em ball game in Morgantown.
The Horned Frogs (5-0) are the No. 2 team in both polls, receiving five first-place votes from the AP and four first-place votes from the coaches.
Mayfield, who ranks among the nation’s leaders in passing offense and total offense, set Oklahoma’s single-game total offense record with 572 yards against Tulsa.
On the season, Oklahoma averages 371.0 yards in passing and 182.3 yards in rushing. West Virginia is more than good enough to pull this off, but this is the week when the Oklahoma running game takes over – even though it seems like that’s been said for the last few games. West Virginia has forced 11 turnovers and has 2 of their own.
West Virginia defenders are expecting more of the same punishment while hoping to limit Perine’s output when the 23rd-ranked Mountaineers and 15th-ranked Sooners meet Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma.
Quarterback Skyler Howard, has completed 69% of his passes to gain 916 yards for the Mountaineers.
Skyler Howard threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles for the Mountaineers, who committed just two turnovers in their first three games.
Oklahoma Sooners tight end Mark Andrews (81) and Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jarvis Baxter (1) celebrate in the endzone after scoring a touchdown against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane during the third quarter at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The redshirt sophomore has 12 catches for 329 yards and four touchdowns in three games.
“There’s going to be a lot of these games coming up here in the next month”.