NORMAN – After forcing just two takeaways through the first three games of the season, Oklahoma forced five turnovers Saturday, and the Sooners survived a late scare to improve to 4-0 for the 12th time under coach Bob Stoops with a 44-24 victory against West Virginia.
No. 15 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0 Big 12 Conference) opened conference play with its fourth-straight victory against @West Virginia (3-1, 0-1) despite struggling on offense for much of the second half.
Instead, it was the defense that led the way – forcing a trio of fourth-quarter turnovers that helped seal the victory.
No. 23 West Virginia entered Saturday atop the nation in turnover margin (+3 per game) and first in scoring defense (7.7 points per game). That changed as Oklahoma won the turnover battle, 5-2, and scored almost twice as many points as the Mountaineers had allowed through the previous three games.
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who had an otherwise unimpressive game, threw three touchdown passes – matching the total allowed by West Virginia through the non-conference season.
The Sooners running game again struggled, totaling just 107 yards.
It was the defense that shut the door late. After West Virginia, which had turned the ball over just twice all season, pulled within three points with less than a minute to play in the third quarter, the Oklahoma defense, which finished with seven sacks, allowed just 38 yards and no points.