STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy and his Cowboys made sure that former offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen failed to enjoy his homecoming as the head coach of West Virginia University, handing WVU a 55-34 loss, its fourth straight defeat after starting the season 5-0.
WVU is 2-4 in Big 12 play while OSU improved to 6-3 (4-2 Big 12).
Special teams miscues, an inability to contain the Cowboys' Josh Stewart, and a sputtering offense doomed the old gold and blue, who hadn't lost four straight games since the 2001 season.
OSU junior quarterback Clint Chelf made the most of his first career start, connecting on 22-of-31 attempts for 292 yards and four touchdowns.
Stewart, who scored OSU's first touchdown on a 46-yard run, hauled in 13 passes for 172 yards and two scores.
Lost in the defeat was a huge game by WVU junior Stedman Bailey, who caught 14 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown.
OKLAHOMA ST. 55, WEST VIRGINIA 34
OkSt-Stewart 46 run (Sharp kick), 12:00.
OkSt-Stewart 21 pass from Chelf (Sharp kick), 3:07.
WVU-Bailey 37 pass from Millard (Bitancurt kick), 1:06.
OkSt-Gilbert 96 kickoff return (Sharp kick), :53.
WVU-Austin 17 pass from G.Smith (Bitancurt kick), 5:43.
OkSt-Jackson 48 pass from Chelf (Sharp kick), 4:33.
OkSt-FG Sharp 26, 2:38.
WVU-FG Bitancurt 41, :55.
WVU-Nehlen 9 pass from G.Smith (Bitancurt kick), 12:32.
OkSt-C.Moore 5 pass from Chelf (Sharp kick), 10:19.
WVU-FG Bitancurt 37, 5:58.
WVU-G.Smith 1 run (Bitancurt kick), 5:20.
OkSt-FG Sharp 32, 2:22.
OkSt-Stewart 20 pass from Chelf (Sharp kick), 12:05.
OkSt-Smith 21 run (Sharp kick), 9:50.
Time of Possession32:5727:03
RUSHING-West Virginia, Buie 15-53, Austin 5-14, Garrison 6-12,
Alston 1-0, G.Smith 8-(minus 1). Oklahoma St., Randle 21-74,
Stewart 1-46, Smith 7-32, Chelf 3-5, Team 3-(minus 6).
PASSING-West Virginia, G.Smith 36-54-0-364, Millard 1-2-0-37.
Oklahoma St., Chelf 22-31-1-292.
RECEIVING-West Virginia, Bailey 14-225, Austin 11-79, Nehlen 4-26,
Woods 3-39, Arlia 3-25, Garrison 2-7. Oklahoma St., Stewart 13-172,
Hays 3-49, Staley 2-6, Jackson 1-48, Randle 1-9, C.Moore 1-5,
West Virginia will look to avoid its first five-game losing streak since the 1986 campaign next Saturday night, when Oklahoma visits Mylan Puskar Stadium.
Senior quarterback Geno Smith completed 35-of-50 attempts for 358 yards and two scores, but the running game again proved to be ineffective for the most part as sophomore Andrew Buie led the team with 51 yards on 14 carries.
Defensively, WVU held Big 12 rushing leader Joseph Randle to only 74 yards on 21 carries, but could do nothing with Jackson, who eclipsed the 200-yard mark in total offense.
West Virginia, which trailed the entire game, pulled to within seven points on a Smith 1-yard run and a Tyler Bitancurt 37-yard field goal.
But, those would be the final points of the game for the visitors as OSU salted away the win with a 32-yard field goal from Quinn Sharp and touchdowns by Stewart and Jeremy Smith.
That script has become all too familiar to Mountaineer fans and it continued to show itself during the first 30 minutes of action as an inconsistent offense and defensive breakdowns -throw in an Oklahoma State 96-yard kickoff return as well - allowed the Cowboys to take a 31-17 lead into the locker rooms at the half.
A three-and-out on WVU's first possession put the hosts in business at their own 22 following a 55-yard punt by senior Tyler Bitancurt.
Five plays later, OSU was on the board when Stewart took the pitch out from junior quarterback Clint Chelf and at the WV 46 and raced untouched in for the first score of the game. Senior placekicker Quinn Sharp at the PAT and the Cowboys were on the board just three minutes into the game.
That margin doubled nine minutes later when Chelf, who was making his first start under center, found a wide open Stewart from 21 yards out to push the score to 13-0. Sharp again made good on the PAT and the Mountaineers found themselves trailing by 14, with 3:07 still showing on the first quarter clock.
Smith and Company finally got untracked on the Mountaineers' next possession as they marched down to the OSU 32.
A 5-yard sack of WVU's senior leader not only put the visitors into a third-and-long situation, but also forced WVU to go for it without Smith, who lost his helmet on the play and was forced to watch from the sideline.
Sophomore backup Paul Millard proved up to the task, however, as he found Bailey in the end zone and the talented junior out-leaped two defenders for the 37-yard touchdown.
Bitancurt's PAT sliced the deficit in half, 14-7, with 1:06 left in the opening quarter.
The margin would be back to 14, 13 seconds later when junior Justin Gilbert did his best Tavon Austin impersonation by taking the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown.
West Virginia's offense continued to find the going easier against the OSU defense and looked poised to score its second touchdown of the game when it reached the Cowboys' 7. However, one incomplete pass and three running plays later - the last one being a 1-yard plunge by senior Shawne Alston - turned over the ball to the hosts at the OSU 1.
Three strong plays by WVU's much-maligned defense returned the ball to the old gold and blue at its own 36 and 10 plays later the Mountaineers found the end zone when Smith connected with Austin from 17 yards out.
The scoring was far from over.
Chelf, who completed all but two of his 11 attempts in the first half hooked up with junior Blake Jackson on a 48-yard scoring play on OSU's next possession and each team added a field goal for the halftime margin.