It’s been 13 years since West Virginia last beat Oklahoma. The Mountaineers showed Saturday that old habits are hard to break.
Despite hanging in with the No. 4 Sooners from the opening kickoff, Oklahoma took advantage of late miscues. A field goal as the clock expired secured a 16-13 win for the Sooners after the Mountaineers threatened an upset all night long.
The Mountaineers opened the game with success, making a statement early that they could keep up with the fourth-ranked Sooners.
Continuing to utilize a two-quarterback system, head coach Neal Brown turned to both Jarret Doege and Garrett Greene on the first drive. The plan worked as the Mountaineers burned nine minutes off the clock and opened with the game’s first score: a 2-yard rushing touchdown by Greene.
Oklahoma was quick to capitalize, taking only three minutes to respond. A 38-yard completion from quarterback Spencer Rattler to running back Eric Gray put the Sooners inside West Virginia’s red zone and, three plays later, Rattler connected with tight end Austin Stogner to tie the score at 7-7.
Despite both teams entering the game with a severe talent differential, the Sooners and Mountaineers quickly found themselves evenly matched. The teams traded punts following the two scores and, although each team forced a turnover, neither team could add points to the scoreboard.
Casey Legg was the one to break the stalemate, knocking a 25-yard kick through the uprights and sending the Mountaineers into halftime possessing a 10-7 lead.
Oklahoma opened the second half looking to respond, and the Sooners were able to do just that. Rattler moved the Sooners down the field, throwing for 56 yards in the process, and set up kicker Gabe Brkic to convert a 28-yard field goal.
On the following drive, Legg was called on again after the Mountaineers moved the ball inside the Sooners’ 5-yard-line. The Charleston native was successful from 21 yards out, placing West Virginia back in front, 13-10.
It took two drives, but Brkic and Oklahoma were able to counter as the redshirt junior nailed a 35-yarder to knot the score at 13 all.
The West Virginia offense took over with just under nine minutes to go in regulation, burning clock and moving down the field. The Mountaineers’ luck ran out when Doege wasn’t expecting a snap from center Zach Frazier, forcing the team to convert a 3rd and 33, which they could not do.
Oklahoma took over on offense with just over three minutes remaining, effectively moving downfield all while eliminating West Virginia’s potential opportunities on offense.
As the clock expired, Brkic split the uprights on a 30-yard field goal attempt, giving the Sooners the 16-13 win
Doege ended the night going 20-of-29 passing for 160 yards and an interception. The team’s primary target was Bryce Ford-Wheaton, who hauled in eight passes for 93 yards.
Defensively, linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo led the Mountaineers with 12 tackles.
West Virginia will host Texas Tech (3-1) on Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium. The 3:30 p.m. kickoff will be televised on ESPN2.
Next week’s game will feature the retirement of Darryl Talley’s jersey No. 90, in addition to being the Mountaineers’ annual Stripe the Stadium promotion.