MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Wanting to shake the stain of their last game and hoping to impress those in town for Homecoming, WVU found themselves in a dogfight all day with Oklahoma State.
The game started with West Virginia quickly stealing momentum despite a sluggish opening possession. Hudson Clement recovered a fumble on a punt return and handed the ball back to the WVU offense. But that momentum wouldn’t last long.
Oklahoma State would steal it back literally by batting the ball away from tight end Kole Taylor as he tried to run after a catch. The Cowboys would get points on the turnover, granted would have to settle for a field goal. OSU would carry that 3-0 lead throughout most of the early portion of the first quarter. It would then increase to 10-0 with more points off takeaways.
Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon would find the end zone after the OSU defense picked Garrett Greene off to flip the field. That made the score 10-0 Cowboys.
It was this moment that the West Virginia offense started to wake up. Greene would mostly use his legs to move the his team down the field and Justin Johnson Jr. would push the ball the rest of the way. A big catch by Preston Fox even set up the eventual score. That cut the OSU advantage to just 10-7 as the game sifted to the second quarter.
A Michael Hayes field goal on WVU’s next possession would tie the game at 10. And before the end of the half, West Virginia would finally take the lead for the first time all game.
After OSU added a field goal, Greene was able to connect with Devin Carter, who then got by the defense and scored. The 45-yard touchdown reception by Carter put WVU out in front, 17-13. An Oklahoma State missed field goal later and the Mountaineers held that same lead in the locker room.
West Virginia experienced a jolt of life in the midst of a back and forth slow start to the second half when Anthony Wilson jumped up to pick off a pass that otherwise could have led to an Oklahoma State touchdown. This play ignited the crowd and allowed the offense to get back to work.
Following WVU’s inability to capitalize off of the takeaway, Oklahoma State was able to take advantage of field position and get into the end zone themselves, reclaiming the lead, 20-17.
Greene would then throw a dart to EJ Horton to cap off the Mountaineers’ drive, getting WVU on top, 24-20. But a fumble on a punt return would lead to more gift wrapped points for the Cowboys and a loss of the edge on the scoreboard.
Hayes’ second field goal of the day tied the game again, this time at 27. Unfortunately for West Virginia, they squandered that as well. Penalties for a face mask and a late hit led to the Cowboys putting seven more points on the board. Chalk up another OSU touchdown to make it 41-27.
Learning from the week before, West Virginia refused to die. CJ Donaldson capped off a six-play 75-yard scoring drive by pushing through into the end zone to cut the deficit to 41-34.
But it was not to be for the Mountaineers. Oklahoma State recovered the onside kick and then Gordon ran right through a wide open hole for a game sealing 53-yard score.
The big early season wins are now a distant memory as the heat gets turned back up on Neal Brown. Can WVU respond to even make a bowl game? That will now be the story of the rest of the season with a trip to UCF up next.
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