Back to the future and other predictions for the West Virginia-Oklahoma game
NORMAN, Okla. – Last week was just too simple. The Oklahoma offense was record-setting, the Tulsa defense was predictable and the combination was the opposite of shocking.
I mean, it’s just been too easy, right? Even I went 20-6 last week, so really, how hard could it be?
Time to get weird this week, as we find out how good Oklahoma really is and how many RedBulls Dana Holgorsen can crush before 11 a.m.
Last week was way more predictable than Saturday’s game seems to be. But I’ll try and help sort some things out. Here are 25 things sure to happen in the West Virginia-Oklahoma game in Norman.
Oklahoma last won a national championship 15 seasons ago. Before that, it was 1985 and Saturday the Sooners will honor the 1985 title team which means 1. the biggest cheer of the game â and there will be plenty â will come when The Boz, Ricky Dixon, coach Barry Switzer and others get recognized during the game.
Meanwhile, it won’t feel like 1985 inside Memorial Stadium, because Brian Bosworth won’t be playing middle linebacker and 2. the Oklahoma defense will be about as successful as "Stone Cold" on opening night 3. OU allows more than 425 yards of offense against WVU, which, let’s face it is 300 yards better than it fared in 2012 when the Sooners allowed more than 750 in a 50-49 win against the Mountaineers in Morgantown.
The 1985 Sooners were amazing on defense. They allowed 14 points or more just once all season. 4. West Virginia gets 10 by the end of the first quarter and 5. has at least two touchdowns by halftime. The 1985 Sooners went on to beat powerful Nebraska 27-7 and then Penn State in the Orange Bowl, 25-10.
Now, West Virginia isn’t exactly 1980s Nebraska or impressive Penn State and Joe Paterno, but 6. you’ll be thinking this is the best WVU team to show up in Norman since Jeff Hostetler’s 1982 team whipped the Sooners 41-27 in the 1982 season opener. West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard isn’t Hostetler, but 7. he will throw for more than 250 yards. 8. And three touchdowns. 9. You won’t confuse this Holgorsen Air Raid offense to the Pro-Style stylings of Hos and the ‘Neers, but you’ll gain an appreciation for Holgorsen as a really good coach, and 10. and then think, ‘Hey, he and OU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley worked together back at Texas Tech.’
But back to 1985 when the Sooners ran all over everyone not named Miami, Fla. Lydell Carr, Jamelle Holieway and the rest of the offense were so good, even an Air Raid coordinator like Holgorsen would have been impressed.
Saturday, will have that 80s feel for the Sooners on offense because 11. OU is going to be so successful running the ball, you’d think the Wishbone and Michael J. Fox’s vest from "Back to the Future," are both actually really good choices. 12. Samaje Perine is going to run for 200 yards. Just like he did last year against West Virginia. 13. Perine will have 100 by halftime and 14. score three touchdowns in all.
Baker Mayfield isn’t the runner who carried the Sooners to the 85 title, but he won’t have to be Saturday. 15. Oh, Mayfield will do just fine passing — at least 250 yards â but 16. the running game will carry the day and 17. Joe Mixon will carry the ball a lot. 18. He and Perine will combine for 35 carries. 19. And 300 or more yards on the ground.
OU has averaged 4.3 yards per carry this season. 20. The number will be better than 5.1 on Saturday.
West Virginia comes in with its best defense the Mountaineers have had in five years. It is allowing just 154 passing yards per game and just two passing touchdowns in three games. Both are best in the Big 12.
But here are some more numbers to consider when thinking about West Virginia and its 3-0 record:
WVU is 11-16 since joining the BIg 12 in 2012. Also, the Mountaineers have never beaten OU in conference play.
21. West Virginia won’t beat OU Saturday, either. 22. Give the 6.5 points, 23. Saturday’s performance won’t remind you the ’85 Sooners, but 24. West Virginia won’t give you 1982 flashbacks either.
25. OU wins 41-31.
Last week: 20-6