WVU upset No. 11 Oklahoma State on Saturday 30-21 behind a clutch performance by a revamped defense on one of the best offenses in the country.
Quarterback Clint Trickett, starting for the first time in his career at West Virginia, finished 24-of-50 for 309 yards and one touchdown. He also had two interceptions.
"He did what we thought he could do, which was to be a ball player. He keeps the play alive. I’m just really proud of him. He’s tough … and he doesn’t get rattled," said head coach Dana Holgorsen.
When it counted, though, the WVU finished off the Cowboys late in the game.
WVU’s defense forced another punt by Oklahoma with less than seven minutes to go, and that set up the Mountaineers with good field position near midfield. A diving grab by receiver Jordan Thompson on third down brought the ball to the OSU 14-yard line.
That drive was finished off by a 27-yard field goal by kicker Josh Lambert to go up 27-21.
On the next drive, Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh threw an ill-advised pass over the middle of the field after rolling out, and it was picked off by a wide open safety Darwin Cook near midfield to seal the victory for the Mountaineers.
WVU added a field goal by Lambert.
West Virginia even let OSU have chances. Following a nice return of a Nick O’Toole punt, Oklahoma State drove down the field successfully. On a third down inside the red zone, a pass fell incomplete but a face-mask penalty was called on Banks to keep the drive alive. On third-and-goal at the 1-yard line, defensive lineman Dontrill Hyman pulled Stewart down behind the line to force a field goal attempt.
Kicker Ben Grogan lined up for a 23-yard field goal and doinked it off the right upright to keep the Mountaineers in front at 24-21 with 9:47 to play.
WVU also had two missed field goals in the second half.
Overall, West Virginia’s offense which has proven in past games against BCS opponents to be fairly inept finished with 388 total yards.
Defensively, WVU held Walsh to a 20-of-44 passing performance for 322 yards. The Cowboys’ running game was basically nonexistent. They had just 104 yards.
"The defense played well. They created turnovers, they tackled well," Holgorsen said. "They held a team to 21 points against a team that probably hasn’t had that happen in a long, long time."
Oklahoma State scored first on a 73-yard touchdown on a screen pass by receiver Josh Stewart.
On the next WVU drive, Trickett threw an interception on third down at the Oklahoma State 49-yard line to give the ball back to OSU.
Two plays later, cornerback Ishmael Banks intercepted a pass from Walsh and ran it back 58 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7 with 6:53 to play in the first quarter.
WVU jumped on the board when Trickett found receiver Kevin White in one-on-one coverage and connected for a 17-yard touchdown to end an eight-play, 70-yard drive to tie the game at 7-7.
Later, Stewart took a handoff on his 30-yard-line but fumbled while being tackled by linebacker Brandon Golson. Linebacker Isaiah Bruce recovered the ball at the 29-yard line. The referees originally signaled Stewart to be down on the play, but it was overturned after review.
The offense could only muster a field goal following the turnover, however, as Lambert booted a 45-yarder to make it 17-7 Mountaineers.
Oklahoma State’s offense showed some life after that, as Walsh led a clinical drive for a touchdown on a pass to receiver Tracy Moore to cut the WVU lead to 17-14.
Following another interception by Trickett, WVU added a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Charles Sims to take a 24-14 lead into the half. OSU missed a 44-yard field goal right before halftime.
WVU started back in its own territory after a disaster of a kickoff return by receiver Ronald Carswell. The Mountaineers were forced to punt, and Oklahoma State quickly scored a touchdown on a pass from Walsh to backup fullback Jeremy Seaton for 30 yards to make it 24-21 WVU.
West Virginia followed that up with a nice drive, but a 50-yard field goal by Lambert was blocked.
After a third quarter that consisted mainly of punts, Trickett found receiver Ronald Carswell deep for 44 yards to the OSU 18-yard line. Lambert missed a 34-yard field goal to keep the score at 24-14 WVU.