MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK: WVU thrashing not easy to stomach
There is more than one way to keep the Sooner Schooner off the field at Oklahoma home games. The preferred way, of course, is to stop the Sooners from scoring so often.
Regretfully, the West Virginia Mountaineers couldn’t find a way to do that in Norman in Saturday. But the Schooner, a horse drawn wagon, had a harrowing crash after yet another Oklahoma touchdown in the second quarter. Fortunately, no one riding in the wagon was hurt. The ponies, Boomer and Sooner, were fine as well, but probably just as happy their afternoon was done as their celebratory galloping on the field was surely becoming exhausting.
The 52-14 thrashing suffered by WVU wasn’t unexpected. But knowing what was coming didn’t make it any easier to watch.
The Oklahoma offense, one of the nation’s best, was firing on all cylinders. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was a remarkable 16 of 17 passing for 316 yards (the one incompletion was a drop).
Every single pass was precisely on the mark. If that wasn’t enough, he ran for another 75 yards and two touchdowns. The Sooner offense was so efficient it had only 7 third down attempts the entire day and averaged over 9 yards per play.
Meanwhile, the Mountaineers remained offensively challenged. Running the ball was virtually impossible, as WVU gained only 51 yards on 30 carries.
Passing was only occasionally successful. One bright spot was T.J. Simmons with six receptions and both touchdowns. There wasn’t much else about which to be positive, except the offense didn’t turn the ball over and did manage two scoring drives. A third score was there for the taking but quarterback Austin Kendall missed a wide open receiver in the flat on 4th down deep in Oklahoma territory.
Even punter Josh Growden, twice previously named here as outstanding player of the game, had a difficult afternoon. One of Growden’s punts was blocked for a touchdown, although it was hardly his fault, as an up blocker faced with two oncoming Oklahoma rushers chose to block neither one. It was the first major special teams breakdown for West Virginia this season.
As WVU fans, we recognize not much can be accomplished when simply overwhelmed by much better talent.
As was noted on the TV broadcast, coach Neal brown had mentioned only five players on his two-deep depth chart on offense even played in the regular season against the Sooners last year.
There are a lot of young players on the field and injuries continue to mount. But they continued to play hard and played clean, not committing any foolish and unnecessary personal foul penalties that we so often have seen in the past.
Things don’t get much easier.
The Mountaineers are off this weekend but face a road trip to another undefeated opponent (Baylor) on Halloween.