Every play matters but some stick out more than others. Each week Sooners Illustrated will look at the five plays that stood out in Oklahoma’s performance.
OU 45, West Virginia 33
Play No. 1: Heupel goes into bag of tricks
It’s no secret the OU offense wasn’t clicking on all cylinders in the first half, especially in the first quarter. The Mountaineers had taken a 10-3 lead nearly midway into the second quarter when the Sooners got tricky.
Facing a third-and-goal at the 4 yard line you could tell something was up. Because after Trevor Knight pitched it to Samaje Perine, wide receiver Durron Neal was coming around to take it from Perine to find Knight wide open in the end zone.
Knight said they’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to break out that play. Safe to say in that environment, that wasn’t a bad choice.
Neal is still searching for his first receiving touchdown, but he does now have his first passing touchdown at OU.
Play No. 2: Ross goes the distance…in a hurry
It’s only fitting that in a first half that resembled a track meet at times that the Sooners get a big play from somebody with a track background.
No doubt you could argue this was the biggest play of the game. West Virginia had scored once again to take a 24-17 lead with 1:20 left in the first half.
Maybe OU could have driven down the field for a field goal, but it only took Alex Ross 12 seconds to change all that.
Ross’ vision might still be a question mark, but there’s no question he won’t be caught in the open field. Taking the kickoff from the end zone, Ross was barely touched as he went 100 yards to give OU the momentum heading into the second half.
Play No. 3: Perine brings the wood
The second half was the Samaje Perine show on offense, and it started early. On a third down in West Virginia territory, Perine made a huge block to make sure Sterling Shepard picked up the first down.
On the next play, he delivered another boom, this time as a running back to go 9 yards and give OU a lead it would never relinquish.
The freshman finished with 34 rushes for 242 yards and four touchdowns, scoring all three of OU’s touchdowns in the second half.
Known as The Tank, Perine’s biggest strength surprises nobody in his ability to bounce off tacklers and keep moving. It did it with two defenders on this play.
Play No. 4: Hayes leaps for the grab
This was the turning point for the defense. OU was up 31-27 with less than five minutes left in the third quarter when Trevor Knight made one of his few mistakes and was picked off around midfield.
In the past, that could have been a sign of bad things to come as the Mountaineers would drive down and score and take the lead back.
But Quentin Hayes made sure that didn’t happen. On a second-and-11, Trickett from the far hash tried to get it toward the sideline. Hayes made a leaping grab to corral the interception.
Hayes once again quietly had a great game for OU, finishing with five tackles, a sack and that interception. Perine would score his third touchdown on the ensuing drive.
Play No. 5: Grissom seals the deal
Holding a 38-27 lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers were back in OU territory. But Grissom came off the edge to strip Trickett with Charles Tapper being in the right spot at the right time to secure the victory.
Grissom had another solid game, breaking up two passes to go along with the sack and forced fumble.