The Norman Transcript


January 3, 2008

West Virginia extends Sooners BCS losing streak

By John Shinn

Transcript Sports Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz. — If Oklahoma and coach Bob Stoops was irritated by constantly hearing about three straight BCS bowl losses, just wait until next year when they have to hear about four straight.

The third-ranked Sooners laid another bowl stinker and lost second straight in the Fiesta Bowl by way of a 48-28 loss to No. 11 West Virginia at University of Phoenix Stadium. But unlike last season’s thriller against Boise State, Wednesday’s Fiesta Bowl won’t be replayed for an entire year and remembered as one of college football’s greatest games.

This one will be remembered as OU’s worst performance of the 2007 season.

The offense was lethargic. The defense was worse. And undisciplined play (13 penalties for 113 yards) was rampant.

“Absolutely embarrassing,” Stoops said. “No discipline whatsoever. That has to reflect on me. I’m obviously not doing a good enough job of getting our players to understand how to play smart.”

West Virginia (11-2) didn’t need the endless batch of trick plays Boise State unleashed a year ago. It had Pat White and the Mountaineer quarterback was too much to handle.

He rushed for 150 yards. If he had just scorched the Sooners (11-3) with the ball tucked away, they might have had a chance. The 176 yards and two touchdowns he threw for was reminiscent of the way Vince Young led Texas a national title in 2005.

West Virginia likely would be playing for one this season if he hadn’t gotten hurt in both of the Mountaineers’ regular-season losses.

“We knew he was an excellent player,” Stoops said, “and he did a great job of seeing what was there.”

OU’s playmakers didn’t arrive until the second half. By then, it was too little, too late.

Bradford threw for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but struggled to get on track.

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