Brent Venables’ defense appeared to have finally turned the corner. The West Virginia Mountaineers’ running game had nowhere to go, and J.T. Daniels wasn’t hitting his receivers. For once, it was the defense keeping the Sooners in the game.
Then Daniels was benched in favor of Garrett Greene. Though Oklahoma contained him early, Greene and the West Virginia offense found their footing late in the third quarter and took control of the game. The Mountaineers won the game 23-20 on a game-winning field goal as time expired off the foot of Casey Legg.
Daniels isn’t very mobile, while Greene is a legit dual-threat quarterback. That’s something the Sooners have struggled with all season. All of a sudden, the Mountaineer rushing attack was gaining ground, and the Sooners struggled to make stops consistently.
Greene gashed the Sooners on the ground. He led the Mountaineers with 119 rushing yards and 138 passing yards. Prior to his exit, Daniels had 65 total yards.
Greene and the Mountaineers started to turn a corner on a drive that spanned the end of the fourth until around the 11-minute mark of the fourth quarter. The Sooners had few answers for the Mountaineers’ offensive attack who were beginning to hit plays in the passing game. Late in the drive, the Sooners looked to have West Virginia right where they wanted them on fourth and long.
With the Mountaineers facing 4th and 15, they decided to go for it, they got Oklahoma to jump offsides providing Garrett Greene a free play. He took a shot to the end zone and badly overthrew his receiver. Cornerback C.J. Coldon took advantage and tracked the ball well, picking it off in the back corner of the end zone. That deep in the end zone, Coldon did the only thing he knew to do, and that was kneeling on the ball. As he had given himself up, a West Virginia wide receiver came in and delivered a shot to the head, which was immediately flagged for a personal foul. After a conference among the officials, they picked up the flag and gave West Virginia the five yards on the offsides call.
The Mountaineers were able to pick up the 4th and 10 and ultimately scored on the drive to tie it up.
The Sooners and Mountaineers traded three and outs, and then Oklahoma looked to be getting somewhere offensively on four-straight runs to Eric Gray. But after a pair of Jovantae Barnes carries set up 3rd and 3, Gray was stuffed for no gain, and Oklahoma elected to kick a field goal. Zach Schmit missed his second field goal of the day, and West Virginia took over at their own 29-yard line.
The Mountaineers proceeded to kill the clock to set up their game-winning field goal on a 15-play drive that spanned the final 6:25 of the game. After a solid first three quarters, the Oklahoma defense struggled in the fourth quarter and the offense was shutout down the stretch.
Speaking of the offense, it was the same story different day. The Sooners once again lost the time of possession battle. West Virginia controlled the ball for just over 37 minutes of game time. The Sooners were just 1 of 11 on third down and failed on both fourth down attempts.
Dillon Gabriel and the passing attack couldn’t take advantage of the 118th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers’ pass defense as he struggled with downfield accuracy and, when he was on target, didn’t get much help from his receivers. Marvin Mims had another drop on what would have been a walk-in touchdown for the Sooners.
Eric Gray, once again, was the best player on offense for Oklahoma. He was asked to carry the workload, and he did just that with 211 yards on 25 carries. Gray found the end zone twice and was the only Sooner on offense to find the end zone all day.
Once again, undisciplined play plagued the Sooners. Untimely presnap penalties were a cause of their ultimate demise.
The Sooners fall to 5-5 on the season and are 2-5 in the Big 12 as they get set to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Norman.
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