No. 8 Oklahoma routs No. 10 WVU


One-sided Big 12 showdown

By JOHN RABY

AP Sports Writer

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A marquee matchup turned into a lopsided win for Oklahoma, and the Sooners now only have rival Oklahoma State in the way of back-to-back Big 12 titles.

Those playoffs hopes? Still a long shot for Oklahoma.

Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores and No. 8 Oklahoma scored four times off turnovers to beat No. 10 West Virginia 56-28 on Saturday night.

In the first meeting of Top 10 teams in the Big 12 this season. Oklahoma (9-2, 8-0 Big 12, No. 9 CFP) dominated from the start, building a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter before the Mountaineers tried a late comeback.

“It was really a good way to come out, really focused,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “That’s how you want to start an important game on the road.”

Now the Sooners have two weeks to prepare for the 13th-ranked Cowboys. The title will be decided in Norman on Dec. 3.

“It will be exciting to be on our field playing for a Big 12 championship,” Stoops said. “It’s as good as it gets.”

West Virginia (8-2, 5-2, No. 14 CFP) was eliminated from the conference race. The Mountaineers entered the game with the league’s top scoring defense but had too many weapons to cover and made far too many miscues.

Samaje Perine ran for 160 yards and two TDs, Joe Mixon had 147 yards and a score, and Dede Westbrook had 100 yards receiving, including a 75-yard TD. After Oklahoma’s hot start, the Sooners kept the ball mostly on the ground. Mayfield finished 9 of 15 for 169 yards, all season lows.

West Virginia’s Justin Crawford rushed for 331 yards, the third-highest total in school history. Skyler Howard threw for two TDs and ran for two more scores. His 37-yard TD toss to Ka’Raun White pulled the Mountaineers within 41-28 with 10 minutes left in the game. But West Virginia got no closer.

“I thought we were ready to play,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “You can’t make mistakes against a good football team.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Oklahoma: The Sooners improved to 2-2 against ranked opponents. Whether or not they make a move in the playoff standings after the convincing win remains to be seen, although the league’s top prize remains theirs for the taking.

“Obviously, it will be good to have a little rest, get a little time off, get everybody’s bodies right before that big game,” Mayfield said. “We’re right where we want to be right now.”

West Virginia: With a chance to make a statement against the first ranked team they’ve faced this season, the Mountaineers came out flat on both sides of the ball and never recovered.

“I don’t know if it was too big of a game and too much hype into it that our guys just … I don’t know,” West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said. “I don’t know if everybody was just trying to make a play instead of playing defense.”

TURNOVERS APLENTY

West Virginia made too many errors to give itself a chance. After the opening series, Gary Jennings’ couldn’t handle a punt in a swirling wind that may have hit a teammate first. Oklahoma recovered at the Mountaineers 34 and eventually scored.

Crawford and Howard fumbled the ball away inside the Oklahoma 5 on consecutive second-quarter series. The Sooners went the length of the field to score touchdowns after both turnovers.

Oklahoma’s Jordan Evans returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter. A week ago he had two interceptions in a win over Baylor.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Oklahoma: The Sooners might move up in the AP poll , although No. 3 Louisville was the only team ahead of them to lose.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers will drop out of the Top 10.

UP NEXT:

Oklahoma: Bedlam on Dec. 3. Both the Sooners and Oklahoma State are off next weekend.

West Virginia: Plays at Iowa State next Saturday, followed by the regular-season finale at home against Baylor.

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One-sided Big 12 showdown
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