NCAA FB

Sat, Nov 17, 2012 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Oklahoma-West Virginia Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Not long ago, Saturday night's meeting between Oklahoma and West Virginia seemed destined to be one pitting highly ranked Big 12 teams seeking a prestigious bowl bid.

While the 13th-ranked Sooners maintain slim hopes of reaching that goal, the host Mountaineers simply are hoping to become bowl-eligible.

Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1) was ranked No. 8 heading into its home matchup with then-No. 5 Notre Dame but suffered a 30-13 loss - its second of the season in Norman - that has cut into its chances of returning to a BCS bowl game.

The Sooners have recovered to win their past two contests - including last week's 42-34 victory over Baylor - but they will need to win out and have No. 2 Kansas State lose its last two games in order to earn the conference's automatic BCS bid.

West Virgina's well-documented fall has been much more damaging. The Mountaineers (5-4, 2-4) were undefeated and ranked fifth in the nation before a 49-14 loss at Texas Tech on Oct. 13 sent them on four-game losing streak, during which they've lost by an average of 24.5 points.

They fell 55-34 at Oklahoma State last week and are giving up an average of 41.4 points - fourth-most in FBS.

West Virginia, which also has games remaining against Iowa State and Kansas, needs one more victory to avoid missing a bowl for the first time since finishing 3-8 in 2001.

"It is not a lot of fun for anybody," coach Dana Holgorsen said. "The only way to get out of it is to work hard so that is what our coaching staff is doing. There is only one way to get on track, and there is only one way that you can win in college football. I don't care what conference you are in. The only way you win is by hard work."

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops isn't concerning himself with West Virginia's problems.

"That wouldn't be something I'd speak to. You can ask Dana or them and ask their analogies of it," he said. "I still see a very good football team. "

Stoops wasn't exactly happy that the Sooners allowed 252 rushing yards last week - the fourth time they've allowed more than 200 - but he was pleased with how they limited Baylor's high-powered passing attack.

Still, the Sooners know they need to improve their run defense moving forward.

"It's unacceptable to give up that many rushing yards," defensive end David King said. "I think we've done a poorer and poorer job of tackling as the season progressed, and something's got to give. We've got to fix it or we're going to start getting beat.''

The Mountaineers, though, are averaging only 81.3 rushing yards over their last three games and rank last in the Big 12 at 132.7 yards per game.

Oklahoma mainly will have to contend with quarterback Geno Smith, who is third in the nation in completion percentage (71.3) and passing yards per game (337.9) while ranking fourth in touchdowns (31) and tossing only three interceptions.

Smith, considered the Heisman Trophy front-runner before West Virgina's collapse, finished 36 of 54 for 364 yards and two TDs last week.

"To a degree we will make some adjustments and again hopefully make some adjustments on the run game," Stoops said. "They still have speedy receivers and an excellent quarterback. Again, everybody has their way with how they like to move the football."

Oklahoma did so against Baylor with help from Landry Jones, who finished 25 of 36 for 277 yards and two touchdowns a week after throwing for 405 yards and four TDs in a win at Iowa State.

"Everything starts with their quarterback, Landry Jones. It seems like he has been there for six years," Holgorsen said. "He is very talented, big kid with a great arm and is a winner."

This is Oklahoma's first visit to Morgantown in a series that's tied 2-2. West Virginia beat the Sooners 48-28 in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, the first meeting since the Mountaineers' victory in 1982.

Tagged: Virginia, West Virginia, Baylor, Oklahoma, Landry Jones, David King

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash