Bits & Bytes: WVU - OU

An alignment of battlewagons, OU streaks and a strong special teams battle highlight our last pre-game look at the West Virginia - Oklahoma battle.

BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Sat 9/7 7:00 PM EST

Norman, OK

Gaylord Family
Memorial Stadium
Record: 1-0

Last Game
W&M 24-17 W
TV: FOX

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Record: 1-0

Last Game
La Monroe 34-0 W
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2013 Schedule

Series: OU 3-2

First Meeting: 1958
Last Meeting: 2012
Rosters/Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2013 Schedule

TRIVIA

One of the statistics behing highlighted this week is Oklahoma's outstanding 82-5 home record under head coach Bob Stoops. How many of those losses were suffered by unranked OU teams?


KEY DOWN

Under Bob Stoops, Oklahoma is number one in the nation in total third down conversions, having moved the chains 1,215 times. The defensive number is almost as good, as the Sooners are second during his career in third down conversion defense, allowing opponents to earn a new series just 31.3% of the time.


SPECIAL BATTLE

WVU punter Nick O'Toole garnered a great deal of attention with his booming punts (and 70's moustache) during the William & Mary game, but OU features itts own kicker with a strong leg. Kickoff specialist Nick Hodgson put all seven of his attempts into the end zone for touchbacks, which kept ULM pinned deep at the start of their possessions. Although they won't face each other directly, the two will play a big part in determining field position during the game.


FIRST APPEARANCES

Six Oklahoma players made their first career starts in the opener against ULM, while another 16 saw their first action ever in an OU uniform. For West Virginia, the numbers were eight and 12, respectively.

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This little snippet points out something of a hidden fact in college football. Just about every coach in the country will trumpet the fact that his team is young and inexperienced, but while that's true for the most part, it's also true that just about every team can make that case with numbers. For example, WVU is listed as having the eighth-most underclassmen on its depth chart in 2013 – with 30 players, the Mountaineers are ensconced on a list including LSU, South Carolina and Maryland (32), and Texas A&M and Virginia Tech (29). You'll likely be seeing most of those programs in the Top 25 this year.

Certainly, young players will make mistakes due to inexperience. However, that's something that most teams will endure, because most teams do have more freshmen and sophomores on their roster than they do juniors and seniors.


USELESS, YET INTERESTING TRIVIA

The battleships West Virginia and Oklahoma were lined up bow to stern at Ford's Island in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.


JUST BECAUSE...

It will have no impact on Saturday night's game, but it deserves mentioning one more time, because we'll never see a performance like it again. Twenty-one carries. Three hundred forty-four yards. More than 16 yards per carry. Tavon Austin put on what our friend Dave Weekley calls the greatest single-game performance in college football history. If you were there, count yourself lucky, because you were a witness to history as WVU recorded 778 yards of total offense. Will that ever be surpassed?


PLAYING FROM THE LEAD

Oklahoma has won 34 consecutive games when leading at the half. While some games in that streak certainly didn't stress the talents of the Sooners, it speaks to the ability of OU to keep a foot on the throttle and close out wins.


TRIVIA ANSWER

Zero. All five of the Sooners' home defeats were suffered by ranked teams. OU's unranked squads are a perfect 11-0 at home. That may provide just a ray of hope for Mountaineer fans looking for an upset, as Oklahoma comes into this game ranked #16 nationally.


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