MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The underdog drumbeat banged strong in the West Virginia team meeting room where a few Mountaineers playfully embraced the opinion of oddsmakers who have made Oklahoma a three-touchdown favorite for Saturday.

“We’re going to lose by 500 points, right?” joked senior safety Darwin Cook. “Or is it 60? Fifty? Twenty-one? Yeah, 21.”

Of course, Vegas isn’t alone in forecasting a Sooners romp.

“Everybody is. Everybody—even the people in Morgantown,” said senior nose guard Shaq Rowell. “Let’s be honest: Nobody is counting on us to win. There’s nothing like having that on your back. I’m ready. I like everybody saying we’re going to lose. More fuel for the fire.”

Rowell’s fire apparently was stoked a bit last weekend by fans left uneasy over West Virginia’s rather unimpressive 24-17 win over William & Mary. The Mountaineers trailed 17-7 at halftime and left the field to boos.

“I didn’t hear anything about it,” Rowell deadpanned. “I’m not going to repeat what I heard. I didn’t hear anything.”

Junior quarterback Paul Millard, whose older brother graduated from Oklahoma, said he was OK with his second career start taking place at historic Memorial Stadium, where the Sooners are anticipating an 88th consecutive sellout.

“Yeah, man, I love challenges. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Millard said. “A lot of people don’t believe in us, and we just want to go out there and prove people wrong.”

When your team is picked eighth in a 10-team league, there is ample opportunity for proving people wrong. Believers may be in short supply, but Cook knew at least one:

“My mama.”

KNIGHT RISES
Oklahoma also is breaking in a new quarterback, redshirt freshman Trevor Knight, who like Millard is gearing for start No. 2. Though his debut featured three touchdown passes, Knight did his most damaging work out of the shotgun option, running for 103 yards on 13 carries in a 34-0 spanking of Louisana-Monroe.

“He can run, he can throw, do all different things,” said Cook, setting up his punchline. “Guess everybody feels like he’s going to go for 250 yards. We’ll see on Saturday. What’s he going to be like, Jameis Winston?”

Rowell played along with that doomsday line: “If we don’t do our job, that kid is going to destroy us.”

Against William & Mary, the 305-pound Rowell plugged the middle for a career-high six tackles, and he joked that now he’s “looking forward to having 12 this weekend.”

“Nah, but seriously, I’m just looking forward to doing my job,” he said. “And if I don’t have a tackle and we come out with that W, I’ll be happy.”

Knight won OU’s starting job in preseason camp, outplaying the conventional choice, junior Blake Bell. With an arm that looked intermittently terrific and erratic, Knight completed 11-of-28 passes against Louisiana-Monroe, though Dana Holgorsen said the freshman’s throwing motion appeared sound.

“His completion percentage wasn’t very good, but when I watched the tape, he’s pretty good. He can throw,” Holgorsen said. “I would anticipate him figuring things out and being a very good quarterback for Oklahoma. Hopefully he doesn’t get things figured out this week.”

MAKE HIM RUN
While much of the pregame questioning will focus on Knight’s dual-threat abilities, West Virginia outside linebacker Isaiah Bruce welcomes the prospect of watching Knight in motion.

“We’re going to bring pressure and make him try to beat us with his feet,” said Bruce. “First time, first Big 12 game. It’s a lot of pressure, so let’s get after him and give him more pressure to deal with.”

 

 


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Comments

  • WVU_93

    This team always does their best when they're given no chance. Remember the Bowl game in Arizona when we were left for dead, wasn't that OU as well.

    • bva24

      That team had Pat White. This team...this team is just not very good. Come to grips that this will be a long, painful season.

    • EPR

      Umm we were a good team in that game (2008 Fiesta Bowl). We aren't now.

    • Kevin

      We had a defense in93,, just saying

  • Fatman

    Leave no doubt!!!! Let's Go Mountaineers!!!!

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    We are going to sit and watch. The Mountaineer Football team is going to WIN!!!!!
    LETS GOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS

  • Magic Mike

    We are going to get smashed. Holgersens team has declined every year he has been head coach. Take a defense that is worst in the nation and an offense still looking for it's identity. No sorry we will be lucky to win another game this year. Just do not how long WVU will put up with this stuff.

    • Jay

      Yeah, we're gonna take you seriously, you can't even spell the coach's name right. sPITT fan in disguise? If not, please, turn in your fan card at your earliest convenience.

      • Mac

        Other than he did spell Holgorsen correctly...

        • Mac

          Oh, nm. lol. First time I've seen an E in the middle. lol.

  • tw eagle

    I got two recommendations for the WVU football team... 1, don't drink the local water in oakieville . . . 2, don't give the game officials even an infinitesimal reason to drop a flag ... good prep, good energy, and team smart execution should have the Mountaineer firing his rifle more times than the sooner runs his chuckwagon ...

  • 2019jones

    If we had a off line ,we could win...

  • unclec

    Team work, team work. Go in with head up play smart. O can move the ball, d no long passes.

    • EPR

      D no long passes? Hahahahaha

      • Mac

        Have you seen OU's QB play? He doesn't have a very good deep ball. Pressure is key. Get after him, force some picks. Outside of that... we're screwed.

  • richard

    lol...that's 2 wins zero loses!!

  • richard

    i think with my mind.....feel with my heart......heart wins out....wvu 2-0

    • Dave

      So basically, anyone who doesn't have the same opinion as you is considered a retard.
      Ok, gotcha.

      • EPR

        Pretty much... Glad you understand..

        • Dave

          I would like to tell you what I really thought but I don't think they would show the comment.

  • Big Larry

    Oklahoma 52 WVU 10

    After Saturday night, Most of you will come back down to reality...hopefully...

    • WVWho

      It won't be a blowout...27-23 Oklahoma. WVU will be in it until the end.

  • Shane

    At our best when no one gives us a chance!!! Play tough Mountaineer football and pull off the upset!!! Like Dave says, I got your back!!!

  • Shawn

    And and keep in mind WVU is ranked 20th in total wins in College Football.

    • EPR

      Only need one "and" for that sentence to be proper.

      • Barry

        He must have beend rinking Kool Aid

    • Greg

      Actually, that's 14th not 20th. One of only 5 D-1 teams in the top 25 in total wins in both football and men's basketball!

  • Concerned

    Actually think we're going to get a w on Saturday. But I'm an optimist.

  • Dave

    I've got my teams back. What do you say Mountaineer fans, let's go get a W this Saturday night.
    LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • EPR

      LoL ok

      • Shawn

        Look guys...another Larry, Tom and William. More than likely the same person but i guess we'll never know until Allan releases that info to us.

      • Barry

        Ha ha, the spelling police made a mistake. Awesome!

    • Charleston,WV

      MOUNTAINEEEEEEERS!!!!!

  • Toni Phillips

    Not everybody in morgantown thinks we are going to lose . Count me as one.

    • EPR

      Keepd rinking the Kool aid

      • Shawn

        Keep messing up your spelling!

        • Mac

          His spelling is fine, he just hit the space bar a split second slow. Unless you're talking about kool aid, in which case you just proved to be the worst spelling nazi ever. http://www.koolaid.com