When the schedule came out, this was supposed to be the game of the year in the Big 12.
It was newcomer West Virginia, ranked second in the league's preseason poll, against top-ranked Oklahoma in Morgantown, perhaps West Virginia's biggest league home game since the Miami days of the Big East.
Few saw the Mountaineers, complete with all kinds of turmoil at the receiver position, limp into this game on a four-game losing streak dragging the most generous defense in school history.
Oklahoma, a preseason national champion favorite, has two losses, but those came to the No. 1 and 3 teams in the BCS standings and to two of only three unbeaten teams left in the FBS. The Sooners were the only Big 12 team to play a ranked team in their non-conference schedule.
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen failed to see how the interest in this game has waned.
''I think people are pretty excited about it,'' he said. ''They've had it circled on the calendar. OU has such a storied program over the past 100 years. I think a lot of people are going to want to come in and watch the game.''
Among many other things, the Sooners feature a big offense, led by one of the nation's most veteran quarterbacks in Landry Jones. Don't think Jones has been around for a while? Consider these eye-popping statistics: He's fourth in FBS history in passing yards (15,070), 12th in passing yards per game (307.5), 10th in touchdown passes (111), seventh in total offense (14,708) and 16th in total offense per game (300.2).
''It seems like he has been there for six years,'' Holgorsen said.
As far as active players go, Jones is tops in attempts, completions, yards, and yards per game. He's also the winningest quarterback in school history (36-10). He's one of of five players in NCAA history with more than 100 TDs and 15,000 passing yards in his career.
Top receiver Kenny Stills is fourth on OU's all-time lists for both catches (176) and yards (2,317). Junior running back Damien Williams, a transfer from Arizona Western, ranks No. 3 in the Big 12 averaging 76.3 rushing yards per game.
The Sooners average 39.8 points per game, the 13th-best mark in the country. And they've done all of this despite losing three starting offensive linemen in one way or another in fall camp.
''This is probably one of the most talented groups of receivers we have faced all year and possibly in the country,'' Holgorsen said. ''Kenny Stills has been there for a while and is good. They hit two home runs on two transfers. The (Justin) Brown kid from Penn State (the only player in the FBS this year with multiple 100-plus yard punt return games), and the (Jalen) Saunders kid from Fresno (29 catches, 373 yards) are special. They have tremendous depth and some capable running backs. We will have just as much of a challenge on offense.''
The Sooners' defense, at times, is even better, as its pass defense is ranked eighth in the country, yielding 170.2 yards per game. They're ranked inside the nation's top 16 for the eighth time in the last 11 years.
Still, WVU's Holgorsen is happy to see it, only if it's because it's something different. The Sooners play a lot of man-to-man defense, or as WVU offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson called it, ''Cat coverage - I've got this cat, you've got that cat.''
''It's a different approach than what we've faced the last six, seven games (a lot of zone coverage, dropping six or seven),'' Holgorsen said. ''They play man. They have tremendous athletes, they have tremendous cover guys. There's going to be one-on-one matchups all over the place and we have to win them.''
That hasn't happened with much regularity. The Sooners are the only Big 12 team to not have allowed any of these prolific passers in the conference to throw for 300 yards on them.
''The one thing that's never changed is the effort they play with and the nastiness they play with,'' Holgorsen said. ''Our approach is we need to be ready to play the game, to be fired up about the opportunity to make plays and put ourselves in an opportunity to make plays.''
WVU's Geno Smith averages 337.9 passing yards per game, the third-best mark in the country. Baylor went into last week's game averaging 392.1 passing yards per game. Oklahoma held it to 172.