Welcome to Stillwater, Okla., where West Virginia plays as a 10-point underdog against Oklahoma State, which has won 11 of 12 at home. The Mountaineers haven’t been double-digit underdogs, at home, on the road or in a bowl since 2003. You’ll remember that as an attitude shifting 22-20 loss to Miami still early in Rich Rodriguez’s tenure.
Never once in the 120 games that followed had WVU been as big of an underdog.
This spread, mind you, comes with Oklahoma State’s totally uncertain situation at quarterback, where junior Clint Chelf will now start. That’s three starters for the Cowboys this season.
The Mountaineers are not without personnel notes, either, and we’ll discuss those inside.
You know about Travares Copeland, but cornerback Ricky Rumph and receivers Dante Campbell and Ivan McCartney are not with the team either.
I pressed for answers and got none, because none have been made available. I can ask after the game, where I doubt I’ll get any, but there was a lot of talk about bad parts of practices and bad apples at WVU this week.
I think Campbell is hurt. No one will tell us. I have no idea about Rumph. No one will telll ups. Copeland seemed to leave of his own fruition this week and say it was for a family reason, but there are scoffs about that.
It’s early in this and hours from when I can ask a question and try to get an answer, but it would appear McCartney, who’s practiced OK and actually started last week, didn’t get through this week’s practices. The early world circulating is he’s pulled a stunt not unlike the one he pulled before the start of the season.
Back in August, McCartney backed away from the team and thought about leaving. He was given a weekend to think about it and then came back to the team.
And just to make you feel really concerned, it’s as windy here as it was at Texas Tech.
That’s five scoring plays covering between 20 and 46 yards for OSU today.
Head down and writing now…
I really disagree with that. A punt with 10 minutes is acceptable.
Crunch time for the offense and Geno is antsy as he fires over an open receiver on the sideline. #TeamGoForIt stays on the field…
First time I’ve ever seen this: Officials watched the replay on the stadium big screens and reversed the call.
Not terrible coverage by Miller, but not real effort to stop that pass, either.
Just a list of special teams errors today and, really, each has been costly.
Imagine this: WVU entrusting the defense.
Screen play is a little more complicated, but you can tell WVU believes in the offense. That hasn’t been the case for a while.
Well, except that loss of a yard.
This is a simple and effective version of the offense. It’s not doing much, but what it’s doing is working.
That ball … squrited … through Thompson’s grasp???
Whatever the purpose of that timeout in the middle of that drive, the defense got a field goal instead of a touchdown and now the offense has a chance to tie the score.
I’m sensing a pattern now with OSU’s pass game…
And we’re not yet in the fourth quarter, but WVU has 61 snaps and an edge of more than six minutes in time of possession.
Gambling Dana opts for the PAT hereto make it 38-34. This, almost completely inexplicably, feels like WVU’s game.
And there’s the play WVU needed. Tight pass goes through a receiver’s hands and Garvin returns it 4 yards to the 1. That’s enormous. And, seriously, Chelf needs to run.
WVU has really handled Randle. He had 7/47 in the first quarter. He’s 17/63 now.
Second-and-goal at the 7 … fourth-and-goal at the 20.
Is Buie a klutz? I can’t tell.
That’s two penalties on Spain now. And Eger is t right guard.
All those inside runs have pulled safeties inside and the receivers are feasting on 1-on-1 coverage. WVU hasn’t dictated like this in a while, but WVU hasn’t had this sort of success running the ball in a while.
Pat Eger still in at left guard.
And, man, it shifts so fast.
I 15, I 15. Tavon is yelling “Peter” and and waving his arms and camped out in the immediate vicinity of the bouncing ball. Naturally it hits him and it’s a turnover. The special teams are beyond a plausible defense by now.
Momentum is bending, bending, bending …
I’m not sure that was an accident.
A lot happening on the field during the timeout, but WVU’s kick team was out there fast and talked a lot among itself. Every player is inside the numbers, too.
It shifts so fast — OSU thinking about putting game away to start third quarter, but WVU gets a three-and-out, a 75-yard play you KNOW they talked about at halftime and then a Ryan Nehlen TD. Pretty sure McCartney can stay home, wherever home is, next week.
Identical play that just missed in the first half.
Joseph knocked Petteway out for the third-down play. Punt!
Lots of talk at the half about OSU not using the 55 seconds at the end of the half…
Uh, I see no reason to call a timeout there. What if OSU scores? Seriously.
It’s good and it’s 31-17 now, though WVU could have ticked away some more time and left OSU with fewer than 55 seconds … and let’s be honest: That’s plenty of time.
Uh oh … 42-yard field goal try here…
WVU receivers 30 yards in penalties after the 20-yard kickoff return. Now first-and-10 at OSU’s 39 with 2:30 to go. Need seven here if you want a chance.
That wasn’t a small moment for the defense. I know it’s still 31-14, but it’s not 35-14 and the defense had nothing to do with being put in that particular position.
I lied … NOW if a punter or kicker wiffs, I’ve seen everything.
That’s 13 40-yard pass plays and seven touchdowns against WVU this season.
The back end is a mess. No one accounting for the 235-pound tight end. Poor Jared Barber.
Rowell has been WVU’s best run-stopper. He’s hurting and has to leave. Kyle Rose is the NG now.
Squib gives OSU first-and-10 at the 40. Better than a TD.
WVU has had the ball for 7:29 this quarter, which has kept Randle on he sideline. Three rushes, minus-one yard.
…and now the kickoff.
WVU trying to stay in here. Much, much better work in the second quarter.
I said run the middle…
Yeah, WVU absolutely believes it can run the middle. And Eger is dong a nice job.
Pat Eger at left guard, in case you want to know.
Pretty sure the OSU guy ripped off Jenkins’ helmet there…
And when does someone demand Geno buckles the chin strap?
G 27 … G 27. I’ve never seen the punt returner stand still and wait three seconds, especially after a 76 yard punt.
I don’t want to say Oklahoma State didn’t trust Clint Chelf there, but Oklahoma State did everything but take a knee
How many times have we, let alone Oklahoma State, seen that formation and that run on a short-yardage play? Dana is sincere when he says there are no secrets.
Three things becoming apparent watching WVU stick with a plan so far.
1) Bailey must be involved
2) Tavon must get more touches
3) WVU must believe it can run the middle
I sit corrected: Call on the field is confirmed.
Can’t believe the back judge made the call he did on the field. They’ll overturn it and make it second-and-15.
And there’s the penalty. That’s two false start flags.
There’s a clever, albeit risky call. Fourth-and-1 jet sweep to Tavon. But it works.
Bailey keeps coming out … and though that could have been a better throw across the field to Myers, Myers could have caught that.
So that’s your first quarter. Two botched handoffs, two penalties, a run right into an offensive linemen, consistent pressure on the quarterback, a 46-yard touchdown run on a reverse, a badly overthrown pass that should have been a touchdown and a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown.
That does not look like a team that worked particularly hard on the small things, or much cares for them.
Wind is blowing, mostly, right to left, so Smith rolls left and throws along the left sideline. Of course it goes O.B.
Lots of flaws on display right now. Lots.
…and then that happens. Just unbelievable.
Huge play. Can’t underestimate what that might mean. Cowboys dropped and covered and Millard did everything he was supposed to do.
Right side of the line is having problems. And on fourth-and-12 it’s Millard time!
Lots of machinations on that play — fake receiver screen left, roll right for a running back screen. It’s gobbled up, so Geno runs for seven. Good timeout here by Dana.
Another error. False start turns a second-and-10 into second-and-15. Not ideal…
And Bailey begs out after the long reception.
Bailey looks healthy…difference this weeis he looks involved.
That offense looks so sharp and organized, too.
Chelf is 5-for-7 with a drop … 66 yards, a touchdown and two touchdown drives.
Multiple receivers open on a touchdown pass and it’s 14-0. Really at a dangerous point right now.
Prediction right now is Chelf will have a big run at some point in this game.
Bitancurt! Punts of 55, 36 (finesse) and 46. Also, Karl Joseph out, Darwin Cook in with Level.
Tack on delay of game to the errors already.
Not the best spot for a back-shoulder fade…if Geno leads Garrison, he has a shot. It’s instead a three-and-out.
Here’s where the offense needs to pick up the defense. Forget how OSU ended up punting, which is to say a throw behind a wide-open receiver on third down forced the punt, but it was a punt. The offense has a responsibility right here.
Two pretty bad series for WVU. And at times like this, looks matter. WVU has botched a sweep, botched a handoff, had a receiver fall and had a running back run into the retreating offensive line.
So, in other words, so much for this. http://charlestondailymail.com/Sports/MikeCasazza/201211080187
Tavon in the backfield on that play, which is a wrinkle.
Not sure it showed up on TV, but Geno pumped on third and two because J.D. Woods fell coming out of his route, but he opened up and told Geno to throw.
I mean, WVU ran that play perfectly and had the safeties under Bailey, who was between his defender and the open field. Accurate throw is a score.
Realistically, that should be a touchdown.
And that took 96 seconds.
Reverse is a 46-yard touchdown run to Josh Stewart, who is hard to tackle. he gets you 12 yards a reception and six yards a carry. WVU wasn’t really even caught, or pulled, out of position. WVU was just blocked across the field.
Suffice to say, the linebackers are going to have to have big games today. High effort and high tackle totals are musts.
Defensive starters remain the same. Level at safety, banks ar corner, barber at cornerback.
Pass protection works nicely, but WVU has nothing and the deep ball to Connor Arlia falls. That took 72 seconds. Five receivers were Tavon, Stedman, J.D., Thompson and Arlia.
I’m guessing Buie missed the handoff there. Fine start for WVU. Third and 12…
Curtis Feigt starts again and WVU runs around his right end with the quarterback for a yard.
Odd press box configuration today, too. I’m sitting in line with the 5-yard line in the east end zone. Here’s the view Allan Taylor, of MetroNews, has for the game.
One last note about the personnel things before I get to the actual game, which matters, but a month ago the status of Rumph, McCartney, Campbell and Copeland would not have mattered at all.
WVU also listed no game captains, but it appears to be Cecil, Braun, Wright and Ryan Nehlen.
The Oklahoman does a very nice job of game day coverage for Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Six writers, reporters and columnists made picks for the game and each picked the home team.
Most seem to like the Cowboys offense against the WVU defense, or at least the Cowboys defense better than WVUs, but three of them mentioned Oklahoma State receivers as big-day candidates.
Hey guys, good news! Wind us 28 mph and gusting to 37 mph!
A question I want to ask you now and I want you to consider throughout the game…Who has better hair: Ford Childress or Quinn Sharp?
Again, don’t answer it now. Give it some thought and then reply.
http://www.charlestondailymail.com/Sports/chuckmcgill/201211080183 – Chuck McGill’s Cecil Level feature features this line from Daron Roberts: “We’re trying to grow 11 Cecils on defense.”
Neither team was kidding about that “We mirror one another” thing. These teams even warm up the same. It’s uncanny.
And we media just saw Dante Campbell and Rick Rumph in uniform walking toward the locker room. They’re now both on the field.
WVU wearing white tops and blue pants. I assume there are blue helmets to go with it. Oklahoma State has the sweet carbon black lids on top of gray tops and gray pants.
The wind is doing a number on punts and passes. And it’s a cross wind, too.
Lots of reunions on the field today, but Dana spent about 10 minutes talking to the referee and the umpire.
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