On Saturday night, West Virginia faced No. 4 Oklahoma and nearly had a program defining victory, but late miscues and offensive struggles plagued the Mountaineers in a 16-13 loss.
West Virginia was on the move late in the fourth quarter, but a miscommunication between quarterback Jarret Doege and center Zach Frazier virtually ended a promising drive with under five minutes remaining.
Oklahoma took over at its own 10-yard line after a punt and drove it to the WVU 12-yard line where kicker Gabe Brkic nailed the game-winning field goal as time expired.
“That was a tough, physical football game,” head coach Neal Brown said. “I thought we went toe-to-toe with Oklahoma here in their backyard. If you look at it, we had chances.”
“The game played out in a good way for us, but we just ran out of time,” Brown added.
The Mountaineer offense went through two quarterbacks against Oklahoma, Jarret Doege and Garrett Greene. Since his performance against Long Island, Greene has earned more playing time, but he hasn’t become the primary play caller.
Brown said that it is going to continue to be a mixture between the two quarterbacks in the offensive gameplan.
“We had a plan about when we were going to use it,” Brown said on playing Greene. “We knew down in the redzone area is when we wanted to play him (Greene). I thought that he did some really good things and made some good decisions.”
“For where we’re at, I think it’s going to be a mixture of both. It’s kind of the way I felt it was going to be going into the spring, but Garrett didn’t materialize the way we thought he was going to,” Brown added.
The West Virginia defense was absolutely dominant against the No. 2 total offense in the Big 12. The Sooners amassed 313 total yards with just 57 rushing yards. The Mountaineers held Oklahoma to 5-of-12 (42%) on third down conversions while intercepting one pass.
On the final offensive drive for WVU, it was on the move inside Oklahoma territory. On second-and-12 from the OU 33-yard line with Doege in the shotgun, there was miscommunication. As Doege was looking to his left, Frazier snapped the ball and it rolled all the way back to WVU’s 46-yard line where Doege gobbled it up.
It was a 21-yard loss that doomed the WVU drive that led to a punt which set up the game-winning drive for Oklahoma.
“Here’s the thing, we don’t have a better kid or person in our program than Zach Frazier,” Brown said of his sophomore center. “I’ll take him every day. We have some hurt kids in the locker room and no one is more hurt than him.”
“You’re hurt because you invest and there is no one with a more personal investment than Zach Frazier,” Brown added.
With the loss, West Virginia is still winless against Oklahoma since joining the conference in 2012.
“I hurt in the pit of my stomach for our players,” Brown said. “I hurt because we had a plan that we came in here, we fought against the team that year and year out is at the top of the recruiting rankings. They’ve [Oklahoma] been dominant in our league and we had an opportunity to win and we just didn’t.”