MORGANTOWN-West Virginia came into Saturday night's first home encounter with No. 12 Oklahoma reeling from its first four-game losing streak since the 2001 season.
The Mountaineer faithful, however, had never had to witness their team lose five in a row since the 1986. That is until the Sooners' Landry Jones, the NCAA's active leader in passing attempts, completions, passing yards and total yards, hooked up with junior Kenny Stills for the fourth time of the night to give Oklahoma a 50-49 win at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Jones, who elected to forgo the NFL draft to return to Norman for one more season, completed 38-of-51 attempts for 554 yards and six touchdowns.
None more important than the one to Stills, who cut in front of WVU redshirt sophomore Ishmael Banks for the winning points with 24 seconds remaining on the clock.
The last second comeback ruined a one-of-a-kind performance from senior Tavon Austin, who finished with 572 yards of total offense, as the Baltimore native broke Kay-Jay Harris' single-game rushing mark of 337 yards set against East Carolina in 2004.
Austin, who added 82 yards on four receptions and 146 on eight kickoff returns, finished with 344 yards on 21 carries.
Oklahoma 50, West Virginia 49
OU (7-2) 10 21 7 12 - 50
WVU (5-4) 3 14 13 19 - 49
OU: Trey Millard 4 pass from Landry Jones (Michael Hunnicutt kick) 11:01 1st
OU: Hunnicutt 32 field goal 4:58 1st
WVU: Tyler Bitancurt 19 field goal 1:28 1st
WVU: Andrew Buie 1 run (Bitancurt kick) 10:00 2nd
OU: Jalen Saunders 76 pass from Jones (Hunnicutt kick) 9:35 2nd
OU: Kenny Stills 4 pass from Jones (Hunnicutt kick) 5:16 2nd
WVU: Stedman Bailey 33 pass from Geno Smith (Bitancurt kick) 3:38 2nd
OU: Damien Williams 48 run (Hunnicutt kick) 2:13 2nd
WVU: Tavon Austin 74 run (Bitancurt kick) 14:16 3rd
OU: Stills 11 pass from Jones (Hunnicutt kick) 11:54 3rd
WVU: Austin 4 run (kick failed) 5:46 3rd
WVU: Bailey 4 pass from Smith (pass failed) 11:22 4th
WVU: Bailey 8 pass from Smith (Bitancurt kick) 7:12 4th
OU: Stills 7 pass from Jones (pass failed) 4:10 4th
WVU: Bailey 40 pass from Smith (run failed) 2:53 4th
OU: Stills 5 pass from Jones (pass failed) 0:24 4th
Oklahoma: Passing: Landry Jones 38-for 51, 555 yards, 6 TDs, 1 interception; Rushing; Damien Williams 22-90, 1 TD; Blake Bell 5-12; Brennan Clay 3-6; Receiving: Justin Brown 6-112; Jalen Saunders 6-105; Sterling Shepard 4-96; Kenny Stills 10-92; Damien Williams 6-71; Brennan Clay 1-25; Lacoltan Bester 1-19; Trey Metoyer 1-18; Trey Millard 1-18
West Virginia: Passing: Geno Smith 20-33, 320 yards, 4 TDs, 2 interceptions; Rushing: Tavon Austin 22-345, 2 TDs; Geno Smith 4-52; Andrew Buie 16-47, TD; Dustin Garrison 4-10; Stedman Bailey 1-0; Receiving: Stedman Bailey 13-206, 4 TDs; Tavon Austin 4-81; Cody Clay 1-19; Jordan Thompson 1-11; J.D. Woods 1-3
Stedman Bailey, who went over the 200-yard receiving mark in a loss to Oklahoma State last weekend, went over the mark again against the Sooners, finishing with 205 yards and four touchdowns on 13 receptions.
Trailing by 14, 31-17, at the intermission, Austin pulled the hosts back to within one touchdown on a 74-yard run on the Mountaineers' second play from scrimmage. The teams traded scores over the final 12 minutes of the quarter with OU taking a 38-30 lead into the final 15 minutes of action.
Smith, who finished with 320 yards and four touchdowns on 20-of-35 attempts, found Bailey on back-to-back scoring tosses with the second one-from 8-yards out-giving the Mountaineers their first lead of the game, 43-38, with 7:12 left to play.
Jones, as he has done so many times for the Sooners, put the visitors back on top, 44-43, on a 7-yard toss to Stills, then Smith connected with Bailey from 40 yards out to return the lead back to the old gold and blue, 49-44, with 2:53 left to play.
For the fifth game in a row the Mountaineers dug themselves a hole, but battled back to knot the game at 10 on a 19-yard Tyler Bitancurt field goal and a 1-yard plunge by sophomore running back Andrew Buie.
But, that was as close as the hosts would get in the first half as Oklahoma's Jones found Jalen Saunders on the second play of its ensuing possession and the Fresno State transfer did the rest, out-racing the Mountaineer secondary 76 yards to put the Sooners on top again with 9:35 left to play in the first half.
Those, however, would not be the final points of the first 30 minutes of action as a quick three-and-out by Smith and Company and a 37-yard punt by Bitancurt gave the preseason favorites to win the Big 12 crown a first-and-10 at the OU 24.
This time Jones, who completed 18-of-25 attempts for 270 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, needed eight plays to cover the 76 yards with Kenny Stills hauling in a Jones' aerial for the final four and the visitors third touchdown of the half.
Again, West Virginia pulled to within one score when Smith, who was 10-of-20 for 155 yards and two interceptions in the first half, connected with high school teammate Stedman Bailey from 33 yards out with 3:38 showing on the clock.
More than enough time for Jones and the OU offense as the senior connected on both of his pass attempts in the Sooners' four-play drive while Damien Williams finished the 85 second drive with a 48-yard touchdown run.
Things could have been even worse as Smith's next pass attempt was tipped by the Sooners' Aaron Colvin and into the waiting arms of his teammate Javon Harris, who returned the pick to the WV 39 with 1:53 left before the intermisson.
Runs by Williams and Blake Bell put the ball at the WV 20, but the Mountaineers' defense held strong and forced a 37-yard field goal attempt by Hunnicutt that missed wide right with 15 ticks left until the half.