MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy does not do a good job of hiding what the Cowboys want to do on offense. With a back as good as Chuba Hubbard he does not have to, no one is going to stop him anyway.
Hubbard leads the nation with 1,832 rushing yards this season. No team that Oklahoma State (8-3, 5-3) has faced this season has been able to slow the sophomore down.
On Saturday, West Virginia did a good job os slowing Hubbard down in the first half, but even then could not stop him. Hubbard carried the ball 11 times for 39 yards in the first half, a poor performance by his standards, but added three catches for 46 yards through the air.
“Chuba, he’s the real deal,” WVU head coach Neal Brown said afterward. “He hurt us in the pass game today. He either made us miss or stiff-armed or ran through tackles. We had him bottled up a couple times and he got out, that’s not just been us, that’s been all year.”
Hubbard finished the game with 106 rushing yards, his lowest total in conference play this season, but also had 88 receiving yards. Catching the ball was not something the WVU defense prepared for Hubbard to do, he had only 82 receiving yards all season before Saturday.
“We didn’t really anticipate any screens, but we knew he was going to be involved into the offense a little bit more because the quarterback went down,” linebacker Josh Chandler said. “We knew he was like 90% of their offense outside of the throwing game. We knew he was going to get a lot of touches today.”
Despite losing the game and Hubbard having success in the air, West Virginia did accomplish some things that no other teams had. The Mountaineers are the only team so far this season to have kept Hubbard out of the endzone. They also limited the big play, Hubbard’s longest run was 13 yards.
“He a strong kid, he’s fast and when he sees the hole he tries to take it. We did a good job of getting to him today and wrapping him up and getting him down,” defensive end Jeffery Pooler Jr. said. “He runs the ball hard every time, he doesn’t give up.”
“We knew the (offensive) line contributed to a lot of his big runs. If he gets a crease, (he’s) the fastest dude on the field so just limiting those creases and rallying to him,” Chandler said.
For Brown, Saturday’s game just confirmed what he already knew about Hubbard.
“I knew coming in he’s a great player and I leave he’s a great player,” Brown said. “I thought defensively we did some nice things, we just wore out a little bit in the fourth quarter.”
“I wouldn’t say he wore us out, they played tough in the second half finished the game off scoring ten points we should have kept them out of the endzone,” Pooler said.
West Virginia’s next game will be against TCU in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday.