WVU creative in loss
When Oklahoma scores a touchdown playing at home, a covered wagon emerges from the tunnel and runs around the field. They call it the “Sooner Schooner”. It is led by two ponies, named “Boomer” and “Sooner”.
By halftime Saturday animal rights activists may have been concerned. The Sooners were scoring so quickly and often that there had to be worries Boomer and Sooner would not survive the day. After all, there is only so much galloping one can expect a pony to do.
The West Virginia defense was hopelessly overmatched and had no answers for one of the best offenses in college football. The Mountaineer offense did, however, show some creativity. With quarterback Will Grier out with an injury WVU often ran its version of the Wildcat offense with Kennedy McCoy taking direct snaps. The result was 250 yards rushing, a few trick plays, and 31 points scored. But it was far from enough.
The frustration of Mountaineer fans watching the blowout was made worse by having to listen to the ESPN television announcers and their nonstop saga about Baker Mayfield. As you now know, having heard it about a thousand times, Mayfield was benched for all of two plays by his head coach because he acted like a jerk the previous week at Kansas. To hear about it all week you would have thought he had been sentenced to a year of house arrest. And then all through the first half they proceeded to fawn all over Mayfield for doing what we expect all football players to do–not act like a jerk.
The game was chippy in the first half, and our mood was soured even further having to listen to color commentator Brian Griese apparently conclude it was West Virginia as the sole cause of the on field problems. I’m sure the Mountaineers did their part, which I don’t defend, but these things don’t usually happen because of just one team. It was the Sooners who were called for three personal fouls, two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and had one player ejection, so I rest my case.
But maybe Griese was in his own bad mood after his alma mater, Michigan, had just been waxed by Ohio State for the sixth straight year, so we’ll give him a pass. Perhaps he was nicer in the second half. I wouldn’t know because for me it was hit the mute button and listen to Tony Caridi.
The final 59-31 score could have been much worse, but Oklahoma backed off and even took a knee at the end of the game when they had another scoring opportunity. Perhaps it was due to the reported friendship of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley with Dana Holgorsen, but I wonder if maybe they were more worried about the exhaustion of their ponies. Thankfully Boomer and Sooner will survive for another season.
West Virginia finished the regular season with a 7-5 record. There were some good moments and they exceeded the expectations of many.
It was a young team and most of it will return for the 2018 season, and thus there is reason for optimism. But as we saw Saturday, the gap between the Mountaineers and the kingpin of the league is huge.
Based on the pecking order of the Big 12 bowl tie-ins my guess is that WVU may head to the Liberty Bowl against an SEC opponent, but we will have to wait until next Sunday for the official word.