Last season, the Oklahoma Sooners defeated West Virginia 50-49 and the two combined for 1,440 yards.
This one was nowhere near that margin. The No. 16 Oklahoma football team (2-0, 1-0 Big 12 Conference), behind their run game and defense, propelled their way to a 16-7 home win over the West Virginia Mountaineers (1-1, 0-1 Big 12).
Just like last week, over Louisiana-Monroe, the Sooners run game and defense were the stars of the game. Behind senior Brennan Clay’s career-high 170 yards, the Sooners rushed for 323 total yards. That now makes it two games in a row that the team has had 300 or more yards on the ground. Last week, the Sooners gained 305.
The win was coach Bob Stoops’ 151st for his career; now six away from the school record.
Fellow senior Damien Williams rushed 21 times for 95 yards, while freshman quarterback Trevor Knight ran for 49.
Knight has now rushed for more than 150 yards on the season, but questions remain about his passing game. Knight threw for less than 100 yards last week and this week only passed for 119 on 10-for-20 throwing. He also threw one touchdown and two interceptions.
The Mountaineers got the scoring going after a 75-yard rushing touchdown by junior Dreamius Smith at the 9:13 mark in the first. Unfortunately, that would be all the Mountaineers would score.
Oklahoma would cut the lead 7-3 after a 12-play, 51-yard drive resulting in a 44-yard field goal by junior Michael Hunnicutt. Hunnicutt would finish the game with three field goals on four attempts, missing his last from 35 yards.
Knight got his first touchdown to start the second, a 1-yarder to senior Trey Millard. West Virginia finished with five turnovers, the first two resulting in the Sooners’ first 10 points. On their previous possession, the Sooners’ drive continued after West Virginia was called for a roughing-the-punter penalty. On this drive, the possession restarted after junior Mario Alford muffed the punt return.
After that, things went quiet for both offenses, combining for eight punts and seven turnovers. West Virginia would only gain 194 on its next 10 drives before going on a 74-yard drive to end regulation.
As for Knight, after he was picked off for the second time, was replaced in favor of junior Blake Bell, the “Belldozer.” That’s when the Sooners seemed to find a groove and hold off the Mountaineers. Knight would finish 1-for-5 in the second half.
The Sooners defense is now allowing 276 yards per game (103 rushing, 173 passing), with six turnovers forced and giving up only seven points.
Junior Paul Millard threw for 21-for-40 and 218 yards with one pick for West Virginia. Smith led the team with 77 yards rushing.
Next up for the Sooners will be the Tulsa Golden Hurricane as Oklahoma will play its third consecutive home game. We’ll have to wait and see what Stoops wants to do with Knight and Bell.