Offensive Struggles Doom WVU Versus Oklahoma

Offensive Struggles Doom WVU Versus Oklahoma

West Virginia didn't lose by three touchdowns, but the Mountaineers still failed to upset No. 16 Oklahoma in their Big 12 Conference opener.

WVU could only score one touchdown in a sloppy 16-7 loss to the Sooners on a very muggy evening in Norman, Okla.

WVU managed just 389 yards of offense and turned it over five times in the loss. It was one of head coach Dana Holgorsen's worse offensive performances in his coaching tenure.

Quarterback Paul Millard was 21-of-40 for 218 yards. He didn't throw a touchdown pass and had two interceptions. Backup quarterback Clint Trickett didn't see time in the game, though many fans clamored for him throughout.

Millard missed many throws including one in the third quarter to receiver Mario Alford that could've potentially given the Mountaineers a lead.

Oklahoma had similar quarterback trouble, as starter Trevor Knight was replaced by backup Blake Bell in the fourth quarter. Bell led the Sooners on a decisive field goal drive to seal the victory.

Running back Brennan Clay was the OU leader on offense. He had 170 yards rushing. Overall, the Sooners gained 323 yards on the ground.

The WVU defense was the storyline for the Mountaineers. It was stunning after a poor 2012 season. Oklahoma would gain 442 yards overall, but the defense was stout throughout against the pass.

Late in the fourth quarter, linebacker Doug Rigg was injured, had to be carted off the field and transported to an Oklahoma City hospital. He was able to move his hands by the time he left the field.

The first half was filled with offensive and special teams blunders for both teams. Both teams turned the ball over twice, but it hurt the Mountaineers more.

A roughing the punting penalty on freshman cornerback Daryl Worley led to an OU field goal. A muffed punt by Alford led to a touchdown for the Sooners.

Both of Oklahoma's turnovers ended in no points for West Virginia, which struggled on offense in the first half.

The Sooners added a field goal late in the half to go into the break leading 13-7.

The lone bright spot for WVU in the first half was a 75-yard touchdown run from junior college running back Dreamius Smith, which gave the Mountaineers a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. They didn't score the rest of the half.

WVU's defense in the first half was much improved from a year ago, as it was able to keep Oklahoma at bay.

The third quarter was much like the first two, as the teams combined for four turnovers and no points to keep it at 13-7.

On Oklahoma's first offensive drive of the second half, it started to carve WVU's defense on the ground. However, near the goal line, safety Darwin Cook jumped high in the air and picked off a pass in the end zone to stop a potential scoring threat.

Millard came back and threw an interception of his own. But Knight did one better, and his next pass was tipped by cornerback Nana Kyeremeh and intercepted by safety Karl Joseph to give the ball back to the Mountaineers.

Millard helped WVU down inside Oklahoma territory on the next drive, but on third-and-20, he found receiver Kevin White who fumbled after reaching the first-down line to end any potential scoring threat.

With less than seven minutes to play, WVU attempted to go for it on fourth down just inside Oklahoma territory, and a pass from Millard fell wide of the outstretched arms of fullback Cody Clay.

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Frustration. It's the most apt description of West Virginia's 16-7 loss at No. 16 Oklahoma.

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