NORMAN — Oklahoma has some problems, but it left Owen Field on Saturday knowing exactly who it is.
“We’re a smashmouth team,” running back Brennan Clay said after the 16th-ranked Sooners rushed and defended their way to a 16-7 victory over West Virginia.
Running the ball and playing defense were the two things OU was very adept at. It rushed for 316 yards, marking the first time since 1997 OU has topped 300 yards on the ground in back-to-back games. And, outside of a 75-yard touchdown run by West Virginia’s Dreamius Smith midway through the first quarter, the Sooner defense thoroughly dominated the game.
“Holding them to that one touchdown felt good,” OU linebacker Corey Nelson said. “Overall, it was a great feeling to go out there and remain stout on defense.”
It was just a little over 10 months ago OU and West Virginia combined for more than 1,400 yards of total offense and 99 points.
OU needs a passing game to even think about winning a shootout right know. After Saturday night, it’s not even sure about who will be its starting quarterback when it plays Tulsa next Saturday.
OU coach Bob Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel would not elaborate on the situation, but starter Trevor Knight got benched at the end of the third quarter.
The redshirt freshman was 10-for-20 and threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to fullback Trey Millard early in the second quarter. At the time, it gave the Sooners a 10-7 lead and the small sense he was finding some sort of rhythm.
However, OU turned the ball over four times on its eight possessions. Knight fumbled on a fourth-down sack on the first drive and threw a pair of red zone interceptions in the third quarter.
Bell led OU on two four-plus minute scoring drives. The first resulted in a 32-yard field goal by Michael Hunnicutt, which finally gave the Sooners a two-possession lead. Hunnicutt hooked a 35-yard attempt off the left crossbar with 61 seconds left.