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November 15, 2012

Shinn at 3 p.m.: Third-down conversions will be key

NORMAN — I wrote about Oklahoma’s defensive struggles on third down a couple days ago.

It is rare that a team ranked 74th in the country in third-down conversion defense is still in the running for BCS bowl game.

The reason: the Sooners are No. 6 in converting third downs as an offense. They’re doing it at a 52.10 percent (62-for-119) clip.

Whichever offense has the better day converting them becomes the huge favorite when No. 13 OU faces West Virginia on Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va.

The Mountaineers’ defense has struggled all season. One of many reasons is that teams have converted 60 of 129 third-down attempts (46.51). In Big 12 Conference play, that average rises to 48 percent (48-for-100).

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