Justin K. Aller
The Sooners prove they can hang with anyone on the offensive side of the ball, as they go back and forth with the Mountaineers and come up with a huge late-season win.
The Oklahoma Sooners squeezed out a one-point win over the West Virginia Mountaineers in a shootout that will be remembered for some tremendous individual performances that ended in a 50-49 win for the Sooners in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Oklahoma led 31-17 at the half only to see the Mountaineers finally find an offensive rhythm behind the play of Tavon Austin. The converted wide receiver started at running back for the first time and had the game of his life. Austin finished with a staggering 344 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just 21 carries.
But the Mountaineers defense couldn't stop Sooners quarterback Landry Jones.
Jones put up 554 yards and six touchdowns with one interception on 38-for-51 passing to lead the Sooners over an overmatched Mountaineers defense. This was going to be about which offense could score the most and Jones did just enough to end the game with the win. The Mountaineers thought they had it won after a Geno Smith touchdown pass to Stedman Bailey made it 49-44 with 2:53 remaining, but Jones completed a touchdown pass to Kenny Stills with 24 seconds left to give the game to the Sooners.
Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith finished with 320 yards on 20-for-35 passing, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Stedman Bailey had 205 yards receiving on 13 catches and four touchdowns for the Mountaineers in the loss.
Jalen Saunders (123 yards, one touchdown) and Kenny Stills (91 yards, four touchdowns) led the receiving core of the Sooners on Jones' big day.
The Sooners improved to 8-2 overall, 6-1 in the Big 12, while the Mountaineers dropped to 5-5, 2-5 in conference.
Box Score Hero: Tavon Austin is the primary reason the Mountaineers finally woke up and started acting like they have one of the best offenses in the nation. His 344 yards on 21 spectacular carries were a sight to see. Oh, he also scored twice.
Rankings Ramifications: The Sooners could move up a bit while the Mountaineers will still be an unranked team after starting the season with so much promise.
But Did They Cover?: The Sooners were 11-point favorites coming into the game and barely won. They did not cover.