Stedman Bailey catches a 33-yard second-quarter touchdown for WVU, one of his four scores against a defense that had allowed three passing TDs all season. (Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE)
For an Oklahoma team that had just put up 50 points and 662 yards offensively, the mood was much more somber than you would expect after Saturday’s win over West Virginia.
That’s because, of course, the Sooners surrendered 778 yards to the Mountaineers, in a 50-49 shootout victory.
“It’s embarrassing,” said Oklahoma defensive end David King. “It’s two weeks in a row we’ve been exposed by high-powered offenses. It’s all out there on tape now.”
After the game, Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops cringed at the thought mention of a stat sheet after what he just witnessed on the field.
“Do I have to look at them? I don’t want to see them,” Stoops said. “I went through about three-and-a-half hours of it and have seen it all.”
The win kept Oklahoma’s Big 12 title hopes alive — thanks to a Kansas State loss to Baylor. But the way West Virginia’s offense tore the Sooners apart was glaring for head coach Bob Stoops.
“Obviously I’m disappointed in our defense,” Stoops said. “We haven’t been in a lot of shootouts, but just give them credit for some execution. But we deserve some of the criticism for not playing as well, too.”
Of course, the lightning bolt behind all of those numbers offensively for West Virginia was Tavon Austin who set a Big 12 record with 572 all-purpose yards. The senior finished with 344 rushing yards, 82 receiving and 146 return yards.
“It’s one of the all-time best performances and I don’t know that I’ve seen one quite like it really,” Stoops said. “He’s right up there with anybody.”
Mike Stoops, meanwhile, admitted the use of Austin at running back caught the Sooners off guard and threw a wrench into their defensive game plan.
“It was a tough night in a lot of ways,” Stoops said. “I’m very disappointed in just our containment of the football, our ability to tackle in space and come up with a play. Virtually the whole second half was a fiasco.
“We didn’t have a good enough plan and them moving (Austin) to running back this week caught us off-guard,” he continued. “I’m just disappointed in myself, and we just have to come up with better stuff and have to have better adjustments.”
With Austin attracting so much attention, WVU’s Stedman Bailey lit up the Oklahoma secondary for 13 catches, 205 yards and four touchdowns.
Regardless, it’s still chalked up as a win for Oklahoma as the Sooners have Big 12 title hopes alive going into next week’s game against rival Oklahoma State.
“Something has to change, we’re just playing bad football all around defensively. Thank the offense for saving us here tonight,” King said. “But the game shouldn’t have been as close as it was.Credit West Virginia, but I don’t know what’s wrong with our defense right now – we can’t make any plays, can’t get any pressure on the quarterback and can’t tackle. It’s just all-out poor defense.”