Each week, MetroNews will hear from a writer who covers West Virginia’s opponent. Today we’re joined by Jason Kersey of The Daily Oklahoman, for whom he covers Oklahoma. You can follow him on Twitter (@jasonkersey):
METRONEWS: Do you anticipate a return of the seven-DB scheme Mike Stoops introduced against Baylor? And was it curious that he tinkered with a unit that ranks No. 2 nationally in pass-efficiency defense?
KERSEY: I think that scheme might make another appearance this weekend in Morgantown, just because of West Virginia’s ability to score points in the passing game. I didn’t really find it all that curious, honestly, because Mike Stoops’ scheme is predicated on having defensive backs make plays, and Baylor’s passing attack lit up the Sooners a year ago.
METRONEWS: Damien Williams’ 95-yard touchdown against Texas was one of the most memorable plays of the Big 12 season. What can WVU expect from him and fellow running back Brennan Clay, another five-star recruit?
KERSEY: Williams came in and wrestled the starting spot away from Dominique Whaley, who was last year’s starter until a serious ankle injury that, I think, still kind of lingers today. Williams is a big-time playmaker who can make flashy, long-distance runs but is also capable of picking up tough yards in short-yardage situations. Brennan Clay had been thought of as a disappointment, really, until a couple weeks ago at Iowa State. Now he’s really found his groove and his playing well. I think Williams and Clay are both quite capable of having big games Saturday.
METRONEWS: Landry Jones appears to possess all the tools of an NFL first-rounder, but he wears the “overrated” label in the eyes of many fans and scouts. What do you think his legacy will be at OU?
KERSEY: He does have great tools, but sometimes makes mistakes that you wouldn’t expect a fifth-year senior — and four-year starter — to make. His head-scratching errors are down this year, though, and he really has played pretty well since the Kansas State loss on Sept. 22. Part of his problem, too, is that he followed a legend, Sam Bradford. It’s tough to replace players of that caliber who are also extremely popular, like Bradford was. But Jones has started the last four years and has stayed really healthy the whole time (he’s never been held out of a game or had to leave one), and he also owns virtually every school passing record. Many fans will remember him as a disappointment, but I think most will, in time, appreciate him.
METRONEWS: Jones’ backup, the Belldozer, has 23 career rushing touchdowns — and only 17 pass attempts — in his two seasons. Do you think it’s a foregone conclusion he’ll become the Sooners’ full-time starter next year?
KERSEY: I don’t think there’s any question about it. Bob Stoops made him the official second-team quarterback in the preseason, which pretty much makes it a certainty that he’ll take over next season full time.
METRONEWS: You’ve seen first-hand K-State and Notre Dame beat Oklahoma in Norman. What’s your take on which team is a more deserving BCS contender?
KERSEY: That’s a tough one, because, of the two games I saw, Notre Dame looked like the better team. They were more dominant on defense, and did it against the Sooners when they were really hot. Kansas State’s win came when OU was still trying to break in lots of new players and seemed to be struggling to do so. That said, based on their entire bodies of work, I think Kansas State is the better team and more deserving of a national-title berth than Notre Dame.