Recap: West Virginia vs. Oklahoma
Morgantown, WV (Sports Network) - Kenny Stills' fourth touchdown reception gave No. 13 Oklahoma a dramatic 50-49 victory and squashed West Virginia's upset bid in a wild Big 12 shootout at Mountaineer Field.
The Mountaineers, mired in a four-game slide, fought back from a 14-point halftime deficit and twice took the lead in the fourth quarter.
But Landry Jones guided the Sooners on a 54-yard march in the final stages and found his favorite receiver, Stills, on a quick slant just across the goal line on 4th-and-3 from the WVU 5-yard line with 24 seconds remaining.
"(The Sooners) ended up making one more play than we did, which was the difference in the game," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorson.
Jones finished with a school-record 554 yards and six touchdowns on 38-of-51 throws, while Stills caught 10 passes for 91 yards. Jalen Saunders added seven grabs for 123 yards and a TD, and Damien Williams amassed 163 yards from scrimmage and ran for a score in Oklahoma's (8-2, 6-1 Big 12) third straight win.
"I appreciate the players' efforts. They played hard. West Virginia played hard," said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. "I'm obviously disappointed in our defense. We haven't been in a lot of shootouts."
West Virginia (5-5, 2-5) is stuck in its longest losing streak since 1986 despite superlative efforts from Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Geno Smith. Austin ran for a school-record 344 yards and two scores on 21 carries and also caught four passes for 82 yards.
Smith passed for 320 yards with two interceptions and four touchdowns -- all to Bailey, who pulled down 13 balls for 205 yards in defeat.
The Mountaineers scored 19 straight points to take its first lead with 7:12 remaining in the game. The go-ahead drive took all of two plays, as Austin rumbled 54 yards to set up Smith's 8-yard touchdown pass to Bailey in the left corner of the end zone for a 43-38 lead.
Oklahoma came right back and went ahead on Stills' 7-yard touchdown catch with 4:10 remaining. The failed two-point conversion kept it a 44-43 game.
Again West Virginia answered quickly, as Austin took the first handoff of the next drive 47 yards, and two plays later Smith lofted a 40-yard bomb to Bailey for another go-ahead score. Smith was stopped short on his two-point run.
The TD came with 2:53 to go, and Brennan Clay's 46-yard kickoff return gave Jones a short field to work with. Justin Brown had catches of 36 and 10 yards on the march to reach the red zone, and after Blake Bell was stuffed on third down, Jones hooked up with Stills for the game-winner.
Smith's heave from midfield was knocked down as time expired.
Oklahoma moved the ball 75 yards in 13 plays on its first drive, culminating in Jones firing a touchdown to Trey Millard on 3rd-and-3 from the WVU 4-yard line.
Aaron Colvin intercepted Smith on the Mountaineers' first possession to set up Michael Hunnicutt's 32-yard field goal, and Tyler Bitancurt answered with a 19-yard kick later in the opening frame.
The fireworks started in the second quarter after West Virginia turned a Williams fumble into a touchdown run by Andrew Buie on 4th-and-goal from the one with 10 minutes left in the half.
Jones and Saunders hooked up for a 76-yard pitch-and-catch two snaps later to put Oklahoma back on top, and Stills' 4-yard grab in the end zone with 5:16 showing made it a 24-10 game.
Smith then found Bailey behind the secondary for a 33-yard score, only to have Williams take a handoff 48 yards for a TD just four plays later.
Hunnicutt missed a 37-yard field goal after Smith tossed an interception just before the half.
On the second play of the second half, Austin ripped off 74-yard run off the left side to pull West Virginia within 31-24.
Jones threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Stills less than 2 1/2 minutes later, and the Mountaineers put together a lengthy 17-play, 92-yard drive that took six minutes off the clock and ended with an Austin 4-yard touchdown run.
A critical extra point was missed to keep the hosts down by eight, and the next time they had the ball, they turned it over on downs when Buie was tackled for a loss on 4th-and-1 at the Oklahoma 14-yard line.
Brodrick Jenkins picked off Jones at the WVU 3 early in the fourth, and it took just five plays for the West Virginia to amass 97 yards. Smith hit Bailey for gains of 35 and 33 yards, then had a brilliant 24-yard run down to the 4. From there, Bailey took a shovel pass up the middle over the goal line, but dropped Smith's two-point conversion pass.Game Notes
West Virginia gained 778 yards to Oklahoma's 662 ... Smith's touchdown pass to
Bailey set a school record for a single season, as he passed his own record of
31 set last year ... Oklahoma, which improved to 4-0 on the road, has won 32
straight games when leading at halftime.