Campus Corner

Sooners, Mountaineers don’t expect fireworks like in 2012 matchup

West Virginia’s Tavon Austin (1) saw his draft stock soar when he rushed for 344 yards in a 50-49 loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 17, 2012, in Morgantown, W.Va.
West Virginia’s Tavon Austin (1) saw his draft stock soar when he rushed for 344 yards in a 50-49 loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 17, 2012, in Morgantown, W.Va. The Associated Press

In hindsight, the game is still unbelievable.

Two years ago, Oklahoma surrendered a school-record 778 total yards, 162 more than the old mark. The draft stock of West Virginia scatback Tavon Austin soared when he rushed for 344 yards. The Sooners had no answer for him.

But an odd thing happened. Oklahoma won the game 50-49 in Morgantown, W.Va., on Landry Jones’ sixth touchdown pass of the night with 24 seconds remaining.

The teams return to the scene of the defensive crime this Saturday in the league opener for both, and from a conversation standpoint Monday, neither side wanted much to do with that game.

“That’s two years ago, a long time, we’re totally different,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.

“Shoot, that seems like a long, long time ago,” Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said.

The night was an eternity for the OU defense. West Virginia had moved Austin from flanker to tailback and took full advantage of a Sooners’ scheme that used four linemen, seven defensive backs and no linebackers. There was no Oklahoma player available to tackle Austin until he reached the second level.

One statistical analyst had Austin gaining 22 yards after contact. That means he rushed for 320 before he was touched.

A year later, without Austin, Jones, Geno Smith and others, Oklahoma beat West Virginia 16-7.

Look for Saturday’s game to fall somewhere in between. The Sooners are 3-0 and coming off a solid 34-10 victory over Tennessee.

But Oklahoma received some bad news after the game. Running back Keith Ford, who leads the team in rushing with 194 yards, suffered a fractured fibula against the Volunteers and could miss up to three weeks.

West Virginia, after playing Alabama into the fourth quarter in the opening loss, has won two straight and is coming off a victory at Maryland. Quarterback Clint Trickett is off to a hot start and threw for 511 against the Terrapins.

“He’s the biggest difference for them,” Stoops said.

Players of the week

Big 12

▪ Offense: Clint Trickett, West Virginia QB

▪ Defense: Cory Morrissey, Iowa State DE

▪ Special teams: Cole Netten, Iowa State K

SEC

▪ Offense: Alex Collins, Arkansas RB

▪ Defense: Shane Ray, Missouri DL

▪ Special teams: Kyle Christy, Florida P

TV times

Big 12

Thursday

▪ Auburn at Kansas State, 6:30 p.m. on ESPN

Saturday

▪ Central Michigan at Kansas, 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports KC

▪ Oklahoma at West Virginia, 6:30 p.m. on Fox (Ch. 4)

Sept. 25

Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, 6:30 p.m. on ESPN

Sept. 27

▪ Texas-El Paso at Kansas State, 11 a.m. on Fox Sports KC

▪ TCU at SMU, 11 a.m. on CBS Sports Network

▪ Texas at Kansas, 3 p.m. on Fox Sports 1

▪ Baylor at Iowa State, 7 p.m. on Fox (Ch. 4)

SEC

Thursday

▪ Auburn at Kansas State, 6:30 p.m. on ESPN

Saturday

▪ Troy at Georgia, 11 a.m. on SEC Network

▪ Texas A&M at LSU, 2:30 p.m. on ABC (Ch. 9) or ESPN2

▪ Florida at Alabama, 2:30 p.m. on CBS (Ch. 5)

▪ Indiana at Missouri, 3 p.m. on SEC Network

▪ Northern Illinois at Arkansas, 6 p.m. on ESPNU

▪ Mississippi State at LSU, 6 p.m. on ESPN

▪ South Carolina at Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network

Sept. 27

▪ Tennessee at Georgia, 11 a.m. on ESPN

▪ Vanderbilt at Kentucky, 11 a.m. on SEC Network

▪ Texas A&M at Arkansas, 2:30 p.m. on CBS (Ch. 5)

▪ Louisiana Tech at Auburn, 3 p.m. on SEC Network

▪ Missouri at South Carolina, 6 p.m. on ESPN

▪ New Mexico State at LSU, 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network

▪ Memphis at Mississippi, 6:30 p.m. on Fox Sports KC

Others

Saturday

▪ Miami, Fla., at Nebraska, 7 p.m. on ESPN2

Sept. 27

▪ Illinois at Nebraska, 8 p.m. on Big Ten Network

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

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