The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 18, 2012

No ordinary game for OU defense

MORGANTOWN, W.V. — Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops called his unit’s performance a “fiasco” after Saturday night’s 50-49 victory over West Virginia. OU defensive end David King said it was “embarrassing.”

The 778 yards the Sooners gave up totaled nearly 160 more than OU had ever given up in a game — win or lose. The most yards they had ever allowed prior to Saturday was 616 in last season’s loss to Baylor.

Surprised? The curveball West Virginia threw at the Sooners was using Tavon Austin at running back instead of wide receiver. OU continued to treat him as a wide receiver, matching him up with a defensive back.

“I wouldn’t say surprised,” King said. “He’s a playmaker and you are going to put the ball in your playmaker’s hands. Whatever they were doing … the simple-zone play was working and they were gashing us for 20-30 yards. If I was a coach, I wouldn’t stop it.”

That’s what was so stunning about Austin’s 345 rushing yards; he only had 21 carries.

It all came down to third down: The difference in the game came down to the performance on third down. OU was 9-for-15 converting them; West Virginia finished the night 8-for-14.

“They did a great job of winning,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “… Guys winning and working their leverage and snapping off and creating space and making room for Landry to make a throw. They did a really good job on first and second down. Great job making yards after the catch too and a couple of guys took some shots in the middle of the football field and came back and kept playing competitively.”

No favorites: Landry Jones set a career high with 554 passing yards and six touchdowns, but he wouldn’t call it his best game ever.

“This one definitely ranks up with one of the best, for sure. I don’t know,” he said. “There’s not much else to say. It was just one of the funnest games I’ve ever played.”

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