Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight (9) scrambles against West Virginia linebacker Brandon Golson (2) in the second quarter.


NORMAN, Okla. — Creating four turnovers and rattling Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight seemed like sure-fire omens of a West Virginia upset. Thus defensive coordinator Keith Patterson was having a hard time processing how the Mountaineers delivered so many big blows only to lose 16-7.

“If we forced four turnovers, I thought there’s no way we’d lose the game,” said Patterson, whose defense allowed 435 yards but repeatedly turned away Sooners scoring threats.

Safety Darwin Cook grabbed one of West Virginia’s interceptions and also recovered a fumble. Yet the senior blamed himself for dropping another potential interception—one he felt he could have returned for a pick-six.

“Could’ve had five turnovers and a touchdown,” Cook said. “I don’t even think about the interception I caught. I should’ve caught the first one and scored, and it would have been a different game.”

Oklahoma piled up 316 yards rushing, but its only touchdown drive covered 32 yards and was set up by Mario Alford’s fumbled punt. Otherwise, the Sooners managed only three Mike Hunnicutt field goals and went 5-of-17 on third downs.

“We responded well, but a loss is a loss,” said inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. “If we would have won, I think we would have proved something.”

West Virginia finished the game with three key defensive players sidelined by injuries. Spur linebacker Isaiah Bruce left in the second quarter with an apparent right leg injury, nickelback K.J. Dillon limped off in the third quarter, and inside linebacker Doug Rigg was carted away in the fourth after temporarily being knocked unconscious.

Nose tackle Shaq Rowell also missed a series after a teammate rolled up his knee, but the senior later returned and felt West Virginia’s defense made a statement in defeat.

“I feel like that’s the hardest we played since I’ve been here,” Rowell said. “We had four turnovers, and usually if you get three you win. I told these guys to hold your heads high. (Oklahoma) scored one touchdown and three field goals.

“That was Oklahoma. They’ve lost what, five games here in the last 15 years? … That’s a great team, Oklahoma. Seven national championships, 44 conference championships—ain’t that what the (signs) say? Let’s be real. We gave them a run for their money. That’s a great team we lost to today.”

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  • Dougie

    Kudos to the defense for playing with great effort and attitude. It's been a while since we have seen that. Darwin Cook was fantastic, Joseph was like a missile out there popping people as usual. (Ask Doug Rigg how hard he hits) and Rowell was a beast up front. Yes they gave up some yards, but it was after they wore down from the heat and being on the field so much from our poor offensive play.

  • JOEL

    to me, the Maryland game sets the tone for the remainder of the season.

    Absolutely can't afford to lose that one because our toughest games are still ahead of us.

  • Teddy

    Guys, what we have here is a reversal of last years travails. No D and good offence. Now we are on the flip side. Millard, while a gentleman and a scholar who is a good guy I suppose, SUCKS as a QB. He should be playing for a D-2 team as the backup. Put Ricks boy in and give Ford some reps. At least these guys will run the ball when there is an open field in front of them.

  • Jack

    Defense played really well giving up only 16 points when everybody thought it was going to be a blowout. Defense was on the field for most of the game with extreme temperatures. They have nothing to be ashamed of. I hope the offense improves as the season goes along and maybe the coaching staff should give Trickett and Childress a chance to play.

  • Jim

    While we did not win and there were definitely some disappointing plays that could have changed the course of the game, it looks like some very positive things to build on. Definitely can tell a difference in the intensity of the defense. Hang in there WV!

  • Bobby M

    I knew it was a BAD SIGN when I started rooting for DEFNESE to take the field hoping THEY could score points that are OFFENSE was not scoring! I knew it was BAD! I thought "This is terrible but I cant help it!"

    Tough loss guys! Strap them up for Georgia and lets get her ready to play it again! Spot it up! Rock N ROLL Rumble is ready to go!

  • tw eagle

    Mr Rowell anchors and leads the best part
    of a good WVU defense . . .thank God for ga state , it'll take time to recover from this great expense of energy and emotion . . .

    NOW , if only coach Holgerson can get his
    " special" offensive players to come to games with the same commitment to excellent play , EVERY play . . .

  • jwg66

    I listened to Mr. Rowell's interview on one of the many sites I follow. Clear thoughts, positive attitude, no blaming others! Nice to see this in our athletes. Proud he is on our team. He was up against an outland trophy candidate and one of our old coaches. He quite simply played great last nite! As for giving up yards, we did that in droves last year along with points, untimely braekdowns and few turnovers. Didn't any of you see the energy the D played with in the heat and hostile environment? I have no doubts we have gotten better. We need to cut down the mistakes elsewhere and stay healthy
    ! Go Mountaineers!

  • Steve

    Boy are we a tough crowd, this defense was a bend and not break defense. 3 or 4 years ago we had a bend but don't break defense and we complained and if I remember we did ok. Everybody said last week we were going to give up 50 or more and we give up 16. I think you great fans better start looking at the positive instead of the negatives. 2nd game, D can be fixed. Oklahoma did what they came to do " run" and we held them to 16, not bad at their place.
    Offense was disappointing, I thought Holgerson should have switched to Tricket like he said he was going to do. He may have sparked the O and showed Oklahoma something different. He seems to be as stubborn as Coach Rod was.

  • Redford

    The defense did play better but still gave up too many rushing yards. Not to mention OU's QB was not on target with the passing game and was even pulled later in the game.
    This defense has not faced a good experienced QB yet. Stay tuned for that.
    The offense and special teams need a lot of work for us to have a winning season. Way, way too many mistakes. Go eers!

  • Brad

    Defense showed they can compete. Just need to get all three sides of the ball to compete at that level. Congrats defense

  • David

    There are no moral victories here. Defense play better than they have in well over a year yet major room for improvement. When you have a team on their one yard line and give up a huge run that is a problem. When you have a team running constantly to their right you know there is a weakness there that must be corrected. Giving up 344 yards rushing is not something to be proud about in any game win or lose.

    Having said that, the offense and special teams did not help the defense either. You know these guys had to be tired and that lies on the offense not doing their part and the special teams with two major mistakes.

    This is a game we should have won and I believe one of our main issues is at the quarterback position. Way to many poorly thrown balls and Millard looked rattled more times than acceptable. Not sure if Trickett is the answer but there has to be a solution.

    • bva24

      The guru's offense did the defense no favors. Holgorsen is in over his head as a head coach.

      Call another timeout!

      • Red Dwarf

        You're sour grapes make a bitter "whine". If you don't like WVU go somewhere else and be negative. Or better yet, write to Ollie and tell him that you could do better than Holgs. If you don't, you'll prove that you don't know what the heck you're talking about.

        • Ragweed

          Good Comment. If all someone has to do is "whine" about how bad things are, then go "whine" someplace else. It takes time to rebuild after losing the talent we lost from last year. Get over it! So many out there are ready to criticize the coaches. Go to M'town and put in your application if you're so good. I like to win as much as anybody else, but listening to so many being constantly critical, without qualifications, is very tiring. Go 'eers!

  • rekterx

    If everyone (defense, offense, special teams) stays focused and improves this team can end up closer to the top of the B12 than the bottom.

    I'm going to enjoy watching this team get better.

  • Will

    Played great on defense, going to have to gets some hands on special teams and offense.

    • EPR

      Really? Hmmm hadn't noticed.