Another week means another primetime matchup for West Virginia under the lights on national television.
The Mountaineers (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) will take on No. 17 Oklahoma (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) in Norman Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET on FOX.
The Sooners hold a slim 2-1 lead over WVU in three games during the Neal Brown era, but last season’s battle in Morgantown ended in a 23-20 win for the Mountaineers.
Oklahoma scouting report
Redshirt senior quarterback Dillon Gabriel is the heartbeat of the conference’s No. 1 offense that is averaging 39.9 points and 490 yards per game. The Sooners haven’t scored less than 20 points in any game this season.
Gabriel also leads all Big 12 quarterbacks in passing yards per game (312.8).
“He’s played at a high level,” Brown said. “He can run. He’s got a really quick release. [The] kid’s won both at UCF and at Oklahoma, so a lot of respect for him.”
On defense, Oklahoma is one of four Big 12 teams allowing fewer than 135 rushing yards per game to opponents. They also allow the third-fewest points per game (20.7) in the conference.
WVU enters the game with one of the hottest rushing attacks in the Big 12. Last week’s 336 rushing yards as a team were the most in a game since 2016, and 567 total yards accounted for the team’s best performance since 2018.
This week’s game was not one that many circled preseason as having major Big 12 implications down the stretch. While Oklahoma was picked the finish third in the conference this season, WVU received a last-place projection in the poll.
“It’s something that we keep in front of them because until the year is over, we still have something to prove,” Brown said. “It all starts with that’s what people thought of us. That’s what they thought of this program at the start of the year and we’re out to prove that wrong right up until the end.”
With a win, WVU would be one of the top-five teams in the Big 12 with three weeks of play remaining.
Last time for a long time
With Oklahoma departing for the SEC after this season, Saturday’s game will be the final matchup between WVU and Oklahoma as Big 12 foes. WVU’s nonconference schedule is filled through 2027, so it will likely be the last time they see each other for a long time.
“I don’t care that Texas and Oklahoma [are] leaving,” Brown said. “I really don’t care. I don’t mean that [in a] bad [way] towards Texas or Oklahoma, it’s just, like, ‘Alright, who’s in our league?’ The commissioner is going to take care of that. We’re positioned pretty well.”
The Mountaineers defeated the Sooners in Morgantown last year in Garrett Greene’s breakout game at quarterback, but the last trip to Norman in 2021 – a 16-13 loss – wasn’t as pleasant.
“We’ve just got a sour taste in our mouth from the last time we were there,” Brown said. “We got beat on a walk-off field goal. [It] felt like we were in control of the game with an opportunity to win it, and we turn it over on downs and they win it late. That’s really the motivation.”
For TV/stream information regarding Saturday’s game in Oklahoma, click here.