NORMAN, Okla. — Fearful of putting too much on Chris Chugunov’s shoulders in his first college start, and committed to lessening Oklahoma’s offensive possessions, West Virginia ran it 51 times out of 71 snaps Saturday.
The lopsided 59-31 final score wasn’t so much an indictment of that plan as it was a credit to the Sooners’ unfathomable offensive efficiency. They scored on their first nine possessions, with seven drives ranging from 4 seconds to 2:09.
“Obviously, when they have somewhere around 15 yards per play it doesn’t matter what any of the other stats are,” Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said.
The actual per-play average was only 12 yards, still good enough for the best single-game mark in Oklahoma history.
Imagine the points total had West Virginia tried to match the fast-break pace instead of turning to the Wildcat package and chewing minutes.
“We just wanted to stay on the field, try to run as much clock as possible,” said offensive coordinator Jake Spavital.
Kennedy McKoy displayed a knack for taking the Wildcat snaps, carrying 27 times for 137 yards and three touchdowns, all of which were career highs for the sophomore. Spavital didn’t get too exotic with the package, which was installed only this week. McKoy never handed off or threw a pass — sticking with the four run plays WVU repped this week.
“That was just one of the packages, but it kept hitting for us,” Spavital said. “We kept feeding him over and over again and he didn’t really get too tired or check himself out.”
Having taken some direct snaps early in his high school career, McKoy was excited last Monday when he heard about the Wildcat installation from running backs coach Tony Dews. The first day of practice “was shaky,” but McKoy said he grew comfortable quickly.
“Just the fact you have to give an indicator and wait until everybody is set — things that the quarterback normally does for us,” he said.
It remains something that West Virginia could develop for the bowl game, particularly with Will Grier’s throwing hand not expected to be ready for game action.
“I think we can get more creative with it,” Spavital said. :We had a package of about five plays, and we just repped them all over the place. We’ve got some time with the bowl prep.”
The Wildcat alignments frequently had Chugunov split wide at receiver. He finished 10-of-20 passing for 137 yards, playing in front of 86,117 fans — OU’s 116th consecutive sellout.
“It was loud out there,” he said. “Definitely an exciting atmosphere to play in.”