Bits and Bytes: WVU - OU

Just how good is OU's pass defense? What makes the Sooners tick on third down? These items and more in our last breakdown of the West Virginia - Oklahoma game. Game Scorecard
Sat 11/17/12 7:00 PM

Morgantown, WV

Mountaineer Field at
Milan Puskar Stadium
Record: 5-4
Last Game
Ok St 34-55 L
Radio: MSN
Record: 7-2
BCS: 12
Last Game
Baylor 42-34 W
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2012 Schedule

Series: Tied 2-2
First Meeting: 1958
Last Meeting: 2008
Press Release
Season Stats
2012 Schedule


Oklahoma is the only Big 12 team that hasn't permitted a 300-yard QB in 2012. WVU QB Geno Smith enters this week's game ranked third in the nation in passing (337.9 ypg). Last week, Baylor entered its contest vs. OU leading the nation in passing (392.1 ypg) and was held to a season-low 172 passing yards by the Sooners.

Additionally, no player has caught more than six passes in a single contest vs. the OU defense this season. Mountaineers WR Tavon Austin (10.7) leads the NCAA in receptions per game, while WR Stedman Bailey (8.3 per game) ranks fi fth.


Oklahoma's win vs. Baylor was the 146th of head coach Bob Stoops' career, passing Bud Wilkinson for second on the OU victory list behind Barry Switzer (157). Along with Bennie Owen (122), OU is the only school to have four coaches with 100+ wins.


West Virginia's defensive line play hasn't gotten nearly the attention it deserves. The four-man rotation of Shaq Rowell, Kyle Rose, Jorege Wright and Will Clarke have combined for 75 tackles, and have limited opponents to just 3.4 yards per carry. Nine of those tackles have come behind the line of scrimmage.


Oklahoma is sixth in the nation in third down conversions. Out of 119 chances, the Sooners have turned 62 third downs into first downs for a success rate of 52%.

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OU makes that happen with a balanced offense. It's capable of throwing the ball to just about anyone (eight receivers have 10 catches or more, and six are averaging at least 10.8 yards per reception), and four backs average at least six yards per carry. Add in Blake Bell and the "Belldozer" short yardage attack, and OU has a variety of weapons to employ, no matter what the third down situation presents.


Oklahoma has attempted six fourth down conversions all year, succeeding on four. West Virginia tried more than that in the last game alone, posting a 4-7 mark against Oklahoma State. For the season, WVU is 15-29 on fourth down.


WVU running back Andrew Buie has 646 rushing yards through nine games. Two hundred seven of those, or 32%) came in one game vs. Texas. That mirrors Dustin Garrison's 2011 season, when 291 of his 742 yards (39%) came against Bowling Green.


Oklahoma backup quarterback Blake Bell highlights the "Belldozer" formation, in which he often converts short yardage situations into first downs or touchdowns. His effectiveness (10 rushing TDs), along with excellent placekicker Michael Hunnicut (10-11 FG), has Oklahoma fifth in the nation in red zone scoring percentage at 93.3%. The Sooners have turned 45 chances inside the 20 into 33 touchdowns and nine field goals, missing out on just three opportunities.

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