NewsOK.com

Kenny Stills celebrates his fourth-down scoring catch with 24 seconds left in Oklahoma’s 50-49 victory over West Virginia during 2012.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The film from last season’s WVU-Oklahoma touchdown buffet stands obsolete. The Sooners offense no longer revolves around a pocket passer, Mike Stoops’ shredded defense has reassembled into a 3-4, and every Mountaineer who scored a point in that 50-49 breath-stealing loss is gone.

So, as a scouting tool, that four hours of game film is pretty much useless. Though WVU offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson suggested Tuesday, “You could watch it for entertainment, I guess,”

But Shaq Rowell wouldn’t find it entertaining at all. West Virginia’s nose guard was on the field for much of Oklahoma’s game-winning drive, which culminated cruelly with Landry Jones zipping a fourth-and-3 touchdown pass to Kenny Stills, a mere 24 seconds away from the finish line.

“It’s like a nightmare,” Rowell recalled, “and I’m living through it until this weekend.”

Linebacker Isaiah Bruce carries demons of his own, unable to repress the memory of a fourth-quarter interception he let slip through his mitts. Oklahoma recovered to score on that drive, the first of its two touchdowns in the final 4:10.

“I remember I had an opportunity for an interception and I ended up dropping it,” Bruce said. “I was just devastated after that.

“In that last minute, we felt like we had it—we just needed a couple more stops,” Bruce said.

But stops were seldom and precious that night in Morgantown, with Oklahoma producing 662 yards of offense and West Virginia piling up 778—a figure so utterly ridiculous it still seems incomprehensible the Mountaineers did so and lost.

Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin said his obliterated defensive unit treated that win as a loss, embarrassed to have surrendered the most yards in Sooners history. But the aftermath was much more difficult for the actual losers. WVU cornerback Icky Banks took it especially hard, being victimized on the final score when he failed to cut off Stills’ fourth-down slant route at the goal line.

“We was all hyped, the crowd was hyped, everybody was pumped,” said safety Darwin Cook. “(But) the quarterback saw us. We just gave away the coverage, and he gave his little signal … slant, right to Icky. He was down on himself because of that.”

Now comes this week’s rematch in Norman—where No. 16 Oklahoma is 82-5 during Bob Stoops’ 15 seasons—and Cook said his secondary mate is jonesing to make amends.

“Banks has got motivation. He’s ready to come play,” Cook said. “He’s been talking about it since Sunday, right after the (William & Mary) game. He’s been waiting on this opportunity.”

As has Bruce, still tormented by how that case of “linebacker hands” betrayed him, still smarting over the two late leads WVU’s defense couldn’t hold.

“We realize we’re so much better than that and that we can play so much harder than that,” he said. “Definitely, the effort’s going to be there this week. We’re not going to have another event like that.”

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Comments

  • MorgantownNative

    I was born in morgantown and have lived nearby all my life. I have seen the most miraculous underdog wins and the most heart wrenching upsets from our team. Its just part of the magic WVU and its fans take part in. I love every play of every game. I have one thing to say to OU fans and everyone else with respectable opinions about who the "obvious" winner will be, Dont stick your foot in your mouth before the cleets are on your feet.

  • jwg66

    DH made coaching moves and time will ultimately tell of the worth of those changes. I do think we have added some excellent recruiters. Don't see a W from Norman. Just hope we play competitively. In any event, I will be rooting for our team and hoping for an upset. Go Mountaineers!

  • Little Terry

    I hope we can keep Castell in Morgantown, even though his defense isn't as good as it used to be. Its almost like one of Holgys drinking buddies wanted to coach big time defensive football and he hired him. Glad that will never happen.

  • Brandon

    I am calling the upset. WVU 28- Oklahoma 24

  • Truthteller

    Yea there might be more Marshall fans posting because they know the real deal is WVU. 0-12 against their big brother pretty much sums it up. Could say they are green with envy lol!! I am going to be more realistic and not be the fake WVU fan and say WVU is going to get killed. This is a rebuilding year and with that said I expect WVU to look bad in the beginning but I believe they will make adjustments at half time and make a better effort in the second half. With the changes Oklahoma made this year to run more that could make things more interesting. WVU has always had a stout run defense. This game could go either way. Lets just hope WVU comes out victorious. LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!

  • Dave

    It seems that most of the time there are more Marshall fans on here than WV fans.

  • Hoppy

    The entire coaching staff is incompetent and unable to field a winning football team. I think it is time to cut our losses and get rid of this Holgorsen clown..How many years does the team have to regress in order to get a successful coach?

    • Truthteller

      HATER ALERT!!!!

  • BigDave

    I saw that slant coming from my couch. Banks was playing the fade and there was NO ONE to cover the slant. Absolutely pathetic coaching.

  • Dale

    Deforrest wasn't on the field!

  • wvrefugee

    One of the greatest, if not THE greatest offensive efforts in Mountaineer, and maybe NCAA history by Tavon Austin last year ruined by Deforrest! Sad!

  • bva24

    It will be over by halftime.

    • Truthteller

      HATER ALERT!!!

      • bva24

        I hate the fact that this is a bad football team that will be overmatched in most Big 12 games this year. Holgorsen knows offense, but a leader he is not.

    • EPR

      Yep. OU will be up by at least 3 tds at half time.

      • GregG

        I'm going with OU being up by 3 TD's at half too............half way through the 1st quarter.

        • R day

          Where are these 3 touchdowns by half time ? OU's best player is Hunnicutt with his kicking... Nice game OU... Excuse your fans for jumping the gun and predicting such a "BLOWOUT"

  • tw eagle

    I expect a very competitive game against the sooners ... and with the added depth that WVU has added, I don't think the Mounties will get run into the turf and disappear in the fourth quarter ... Let's GOooo Mountaaiinneeerrrsss ! !

    • Truthteller

      Nice post