Jared Barber (33), Kyle Rose (93) and Will Clarke (98) take down Oklahoma State running back Jeremy Smith, who managed 1 yard on 15 carries
Joe Sadlek/All-Pro photography
Jared Barber (33), Kyle Rose (93) and Will Clarke (98) take down Oklahoma State running back Jeremy Smith, who managed 1 yard on 15 carries

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Oklahoma State entered with a perfect 15-for-15 in red-zone efficiency, J.W. Walsh owned a 70-percent completion percentage and the Cowboys had conceded only one turnover all season.

However, Oklahoma State wasn’t the same high-performing offense Saturday, a glaring reason for its 30-21 upset loss to West Virginia.

The Cowboys had just one opportunity in the red zone on Saturday after averaging five visits in each of their previous three games. Not only did the West Virginia defense hold to force a field-goal attempt, but Ben Grogan’s 23-yarder ricocheted off the upright, costing OSU a chance to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Grogan was 0-for-2 on the day.

“We were poor in the kicking game,” said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. “Our field goals weren’t great. It’s really not detail that you can go into, it’s cut and dry. We need to work on our mistakes.”

The failure in the red zone came with less than 10 minutes left and the Mountaineers clinging to a 24-21 lead. Oklahoma State didn’t return to that part of the field for the rest of the day.

“It was because we needed it to tie,” said Walsh, who misfired on a second-and-goal pass from the 1, and then saw Jeremy Smith smothered for a 5-yard loss on their down. “At the same time, there were three other downs before that where we should have put it in.”

Walsh threw for three touchdowns and 322 yards but wasn’t crisp for the large part of the game. He was just 20-for-47 passing after throwing just 25 incompletions combined in his first three games. The Mountaineers also caused Walsh to throw two interceptions and also recovered a fumble.

“Playing on the road is about avoiding turnovers, perfecting the kicking game and not giving up big plays on defense,” Gundy said. “In two of those three areas we were poor. We were poor in the kicking game and we turned the ball over. It’s really very simple.”

Despite giving up 433 total yards to the Cowboys, WVU’s defense saved the day. Gundy believes, though, this defensive unit is greatly improved.

“Obviously they are playing much better,” he said. “They have much better gap control. They are running to the football. They are better tacklers than last year.”

— Joe Mitchin

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Comments

  • E. Monroe

    It's as if now that MetroNews and Raese don't have the rights, the only thing they can write about WVU is negative articles. This one is written as if it is an OSU reporter commenting on the miscues of the team he covers, rather than a positive article on WVU's defense and upset win.

    • Allan Taylor

      @E.Monroe: You're reaching, pal. This story was an OSU sidebar, seeking reax from the Cowboys. Our job is covering the game from both sides, and this was OSU's perspective. There were three other posts written from WVU angles.

      • E. Monroe

        Touche'.

  • clair thompson

    Great win great crowd great state.

  • Chad

    I like how they focus on OSU miscues. Yeah thy missed two field goals but so did WVU. Plus WVU had a couple turnovers as well and some special teams blunders. It's just WVU played with more heart and didn't do the stupid things ie; Kevin White fumbling untouched and Ronald Carswell fumbling punts deep in our own territory and fair catching punts inside our own 10. Both teams made mistakes but we played with heart and fed off the crowd. Next it will be the traveling and flying into Pittsburgh, driving to Washington to hotel and motto Morgantown for walk through then back to Washington. WVU has to travel that far several times a year. How about we played heart and our defensive backs and linebackers were smacking them in the mouth. Wish the team last year played with a little more toughness. Also hopefully our new O-Line coach gets some of his mean and nasty and tough type players like he had at Stanford.

    • Ralph

      That's right!

  • NWFLEER

    You have to remember that they had to travel to a 3rd World state by wagon train which caused them not to focus.

    • Greg

      :)

  • Ralph

    Instead of "OSU " Missfires. Why can't Metro news give the Mountaineers and their fans some credit? I think we know why.

  • Daniel

    So, so happy for these young men! They were slapped in the face last week and come back to win this week. When the offense catches up with defense, look out Big 12! Never thought I would say that after last year, but here we go!

  • GoEers

    Great victory...especially for the real WVU fans!

  • ducks in a row

    Isn't this such a refreshing read? I'm excited to see what the takes, and gives will be on the Baylor game. Keep believing.

  • Hoppy

    WVU missed several field goals too..The game was not decided by the one particular field goal miss made by Oklahoma State.

  • Janem

    It's a great day to be a true true mountaineer fan today wherever you may be not talking to the Fairweather people... Dance at the party tonight to the mountaineers...

    • Bobby M

      I think IF we had to choose one out of TWO options A) lose 37-0 to MD and beat OSU 30-21 OR!!!! B) beat MD 30-21 and LOSE to OSU 37-0 What do you think!?!!? Most of us would choose A!!!! Its not as bad AS it seems Friends!!!

      • Grant

        Good point. We are 1-1 in the Big12 with two of our toughest games behind us. Baylor will most likely be a loss, but the remaining games are very win able.