By Wade Haugen
The weather was frigid, the football was slick, and the Sooners were over 1,000 miles from home playing in front of a raucous West Virginia crowd. That enthusiasm didn’t last long, however, as Oklahoma lead 28-0 at halftime and eventually won 56-28.
The Sooners offensive approach was very conservative all night, due in large part to the conditions. With a running back duo of Semaje Perine and Joe Mixon, a conservative ground attack was all the Sooners needed. Perine carried the ball 31 times for 160 yards, and Mixon had 24 carries for 147 yards. Baker Mayfield only threw 15 passes all night, one of which was a 75-yard touchdown pass to Dede Westbrook.
The Sooners defense did a good job of bending but not breaking on Saturday night. While they allowed 388 rush yards, a very high number considering they were the #1 rush defense in the conference entering the night, the Sooners were able to capitalize on four turnovers by the Mountaineers. Take away those four turnovers, and this game would’ve been much closer.
West Virginia fought back in the second half, bringing the score to 41-28 with 10:06 to go in the game, but it was to no avail. Oklahoma bounced back from West Virginia’s rally and cemented this performance as a great one. With Saturday night’s win, the Sooners became the first Big 12 team in a decade to win 15 straight conference games.
On a night where everyone was watching in primetime, the Sooners had a great showing for the College Football Playoff Committee. With two weeks remaining, Oklahoma still has a slight chance to get into the top four.
“We know as well as anyone how crazy things can get,” Stoops said after the game when asked about his team’s playoff chances.
With both in-state teams winning Saturday, Bedlam in two weeks will be for the Big 12 Championship, and possibly a College Football Playoff berth.