NORMAN, Okla. — The Oklahoma Sooners are considered by many to be one of the very best teams in college football this season and the Mountaineers got a first-hand look at exactly why that is on Saturday afternoon.
The Sooners (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) showed their dominance early and often against a West Virginia team that never really looked up to the task. The Mountaineers (3-4, 1-3) opened the game as program-record 33.5 point underdogs and looked every bit like it, ultimately falling to the No. 5 Sooners 52-14.
WVU head coach Neal Brown said his team simply did not do enough to make the game competitive.
“It was a struggle all day for us,” Brown said. “For this to be a competitive game we needed to play clean, which we didn’t, we needed to be able to run the ball, which we couldn’t, we had to force some turnovers, which we didn’t, and we had to minimize their explosive plays, and we didn’t do it. All the things we needed to do to make this a four-quarter, competitive football game, we just weren’t able to do it.”
OU quarterback Jalen Hurts looked every bit like the Heisman Trophy contender he is supposed to be. Hurts completed 16-of-17 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns while adding 75 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground.
WVU starter Austin Kendall, making his return to Norman after transferring away in January, completed 15-of-31 passes for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Mountaineers started the game off on the right foot, forcing the Oklahoma offense to punt on their first drive of the game. However, the Sooners then scored touchdowns on each of their next four offensive possessions, entering halftime leading 28-14.
WVU’s two first-half touchdowns came courtesy of receiver T.J. Simmons as the junior scored on receptions of 38 and seven yards respectively. Simmons was the lone bright spot for West Virginia, finishing the game with six receptions for 74 yards.
Things went from bad to worse for the Mountaineers in the second half as the Sooners opened the half with touchdown drives of 75 and 55 yards on offense before blocking a West Virginia punt in the end zone for a special teams score and a 49-14 lead.
With an ineffective rushing attack, the Mountaineers struggled to find success on offense in the second half. West Virginia rushers combined for only 49 yards on 23 carries.
With such a large lead, Oklahoma eventually took their foot off the gas pedal, only adding a field goal in the fourth quarter. The Mountaineers could not climb back out of the hole and Sooner fans were able to enjoy an easy victory on homecoming weekend.
The Mountaineers will have a week off before traveling to Waco, Texas to play the Baylor Bears on Halloween.