Mountaineers will face early test
While most teams are still working out the kinks against non-conference opponents, West Virginia and Oklahoma have been thrust into the Big 12 Conference frying pan by the schedule makers in just the second week of the season.
The Mountaineers, 1-0 after beating William & Mary in come-from-behind fashion, travel to Norman for a matchup with the Sooners, fresh off a 34-0 blanking of the University of Louisiana-Monroe. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. and will be televised on Fox.
“Why am I going to complain (about the early conference game) here on Monday?” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “Why would we have moved it? For the whole schedule, it works out better. I don’t think it will have an effect. You have to play it at some point.”
The two teams hooked up in a barn-burner a year ago in Morgantown, a game in which the Sooners escaped with a narrow 50-49 victory.
“We remember what happened last year, and we will not forget it,” Oklahoma defensive back Aaron Colvin said.
WVU’s offense didn’t look to have that same firepower as it did a year ago, scoring only seven points in the first half against an FCS opponent that was a pre-season pick to finish ninth in its own conference.
“I don’t think West Virginia played poorly at all,” Sooner running back Brennan Clay said. “They played a good team. We know how lethal their offense can be. There’s no excuse to go in there and think, ‘Oh, they played poorly’ or anything.”
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said his offense racked up some 400 yards using a lot of players getting their first taste of college football.
“I don’t care too much about the score,” he said. “Would I have liked to have scored more points? Absolutely.”
Clay said the Oklahoma defense will have to keep in mind the potential potency of the Mountaineer offense as it prepares for Saturday’s contest.
“They are going to come out and play us on Saturday night and (try) to beat us at home,” Clay said. “We need to come in with the mindset that they are going to be able to put up 40, 45 points.”