MYERS: WVU stalls out vs. OK St.
After two consecutive positive performances the West Virginia offense had some momentum going into Saturday’s matchup against Oklahoma State and opened the game with a 64 yard drive leading to a field goal.
From then on it was like facing a train running downhill. The Cowboys defense, with nine senior starters, then displayed one of the most dominating performances on that side of the ball seen at Mountaineer Field. Playing against press man to man coverage on pass attempts, unlike the Iowa State zone defense the week before, the WVU receivers could not win their matchups. But it was worse on the line of scrimmage. The West Virginia offensive line, which had played so well against Iowa State, was completely dominated. The Cowboys had 8 sacks and 12 tackles for loss.
Even with the futility on offense, though, the Mountaineers were within striking distance through most of the game. But any chance of keeping the things competitive was lost on two plays where West Virginia simply was unable to maintain control of the football. Late in the first quarter the Mountaineers grabbed an interception at the Oklahoma State 40 with an opportunity to extend their 3-0 lead, but on the second play the ball was knocked away from Garrett Greene who was unable to track it down until it rolled 27 yards in the opposite direction. It wasn’t officially a turnover but had the same impact.
The West Virginia defense did not play poorly, yielding only 24 points and 285 total yards, and had forced the Cowboys to punt on their first two second half possessions. But with just under seven minutes remaining in the third quarter and still trailing by only a touchdown, the second of those punts was muffed giving Oklahoma State a short field which it converted into a touchdown ending any hopes of a Mountaineer comeback.
The end result was the fewest points scored since being shutout eight years ago, the fewest total yards since 1994, and the 17 yards rushing being the lowest since 1951. According to head coach Neal Brown: “They just consumed us”. Well said.
It was the seventh straight loss to Oklahoma State.
In a scheduling anomaly, including the next two upcoming games, three consecutive opponents have had the benefit of playing Kansas the week before facing the Mountaineers.
THIS SATURDAY: West Virginia will need to try and quickly put the one-sided loss in the rear view mirror as they travel to Kansas State for a noon game Saturday.
The Wildcats are on a roll with three consecutive conference wins. The Mountaineers will again be underdogs and after the thrashing Saturday most will see this one as a loss. But past patterns against opponents seem to be holding in 2021.
On the flip side of recent futility against Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, WVU has five consecutive wins against the Wildcats, How about another?
WEST VIRGINIA 23 KANSAS STATE 19.