|history of the band|
|points per game||32.9||31.2|
|Rushing yards per game||127.3||164.4|
|Rushing yards allowed per game||164.2||146.8|
|Passing yards per game||293.4||241.2|
|Allowed passing yards per game||287.0||270.4|
|Total yards per game||420.6||405.5|
|Total yards allowed per game||451.2||417.2|
|First downs for||259||264|
|First downs against||237||240|
|time of possession||27:58||31:33|
|3. Down conversions||61/169||69/162|
|3. Down Conversion Defense||46/170||58/141|
|Sacks By/Yards Lost||23/127||22/164|
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia ends its regular season with an away game at Oklahoma State Saturday afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
West Virginia (4-7, 2-6) has a 48-31 loss to 15 nowth-wrestled Kansas State last Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium. second grader Garret Greene earned his first starting quarterback a week after leading WVU to a 23-20 win over Oklahoma — West Virginia’s first win over the Sooners since joining the Big 12 in 2012.
Greene completed 15 of his 27 pass attempts for 204 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a 13-yard score. The Tallahassee, Fla. resident’s 2022 passing tally shows 35 completions in 64 attempts for 445 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions, both competing against K-State.
He rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the Oklahoma win and has now rushed for 1,191 all-purpose yards in 21 games, spending most of his playing time in the last two.
The first interception Greene threw against Kansas State last Saturday was a six-pick that was the result of a poor decision, according to the offensive coordinator Graham Harrellbut his second was a real read, which he didn’t do properly.
Greene made some explosive plays, including an amazing 71-yard touchdown pass SamJames – West Virginia’s longest passing play from scrimmage this season. Greene’s other touchdown throws included 26 and 5 yards, also for James.
“I think he’s done some really good things and some things he needs to improve on,” said the West Virginia coach Neal Brown said. “He needs to get better with his eyes and I think the biggest improvement from last week to this week is that he needs to take the layups. He’s always looking for the big game and you have to take the easy ones, and we didn’t do well taking some of the easy things that Kansas State gave us last week.
This will be Brown’s first time using a mobile quarterback against Oklahoma State’s aggressive pass rush, which has been causing major problems for the Mountaineers in recent games. A strip sack for a touchdown was a major factor in the Cowboys’ 27-13 win over West Virginia at Stillwater two years ago, and last year when OSU got up by two points they were able to flatten their ears and sack Jarrett Doege a total of eight times a day.
In three previous games against OSU, West Virginia has conceded 16 sacks and 33 tackles for losses totaling 170 yards. Oklahoma state pressure numbers are similar this year, as the Cowboys came to opposing quarterbacks 23 times and rallied a total of 79 TFLs for minus 240 yards.
Additionally, OSU defensemen rushed the quarterback 72 times.
“They’re going to push and man-mark and we have to be prepared for that,” said Brown.
West Virginia Senior Right Guard Doug Nesterwho started last year’s game against Oklahoma State admits the offensive line will have more room for error with a mobile quarterback this Saturday.
“We don’t have to block perfectly this week,” he admitted.
The negative yardage plays West Virginia suffered against Oklahoma State contributed significantly to its poor rushing totals against the Cowboys. WVU has averaged just 37 yards per game on the ground, including last year’s feeble 17 yards.
Oklahoma State (7-4, 4-4), which moved as high as No. 7 in the polls after its 41-31 win over Texas Tech, saw its playoff hopes dashed a week later when going 43-4 in two overtime 40 lost at TCU.
During that game, senior quarterback Spencer Sanders was injured and the remaining six games were a rollercoaster ride for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State overtook Texas on homecoming 41-34 but lost its next two away games to Kansas State and Kansas by an aggregate score of 85-16.
Back at Boone Pickens Stadium, however, OSU defeated Iowa State 20-14 before losing 28-13 in Oklahoma last Saturday.
“They have a pass-fail system every week, and we have a miss last week,” said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. “No one likes that. The good thing about this generation — without getting into a long, drawn-out deal — they roll things through pretty quickly.”
“They’re also experiencing some adversity in the second half of the season,” Brown observed, “but it’s a group that’s playing a lot better at home.”
OSU is only 1-4 on the road and has won all six home games this year. The Cowboys currently have the sixth-longest active home winning streak with 14 straight wins dating back to the 41-34 overtime loss to Texas on Oct. 31, 2020.
In comparison, West Virginia is ranked 1-5 in road games this season and has lost its three conference road competitions by an average margin of 24.3 points per game.
A not-so-healthy Sanders has managed 57.6% of his passes for 2,642 yards and 17 touchdowns with nine interceptions this season. He’s also the team’s second-best rusher with 391 yards and eight touchdowns, but those numbers are down from last year when he threw 20 touchdown passes and rushed for 668 yards.
As a result, Oklahoma State, known for its explosive plays in the past, only had four plays of 50 yards or more before scrimmage this season.
“As Spencer Sanders go, they go,” Brown pointed out. “He’s been a bit bruised and didn’t play his best game last week but I expect he’ll recover. He probably played the best I’ve ever seen him play in the year they rolled offensively.”
Lead rusher Dominic Richardson is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry, while top receiver Brennan Presley is averaging 11.8 yards for his 56 receptions. Braydon Johnson was OSU’s big game threat, averaging 18.8 yards on 27 catches.
West Virginia is looking to end its seven-game losing streak against the Cowboys and end the season on a positive note. WVU will not play in a bowl game for the second time Neal Brown‘s four-year tenure, which includes losing records in 2019, 2021 and 2022. He shows an overall record of 21-25 ahead of Saturday’s final.
“This is our last game,” Brown said. “We don’t like it, but it is what it is. I think this week is about gratitude, and we’re thankful for a lot of different things, including the opportunity to finish on the right grade. This will be the last time this team will be together and we will make it a good week and a fun week for the boys. I fully expect that we will go out and play hard and give ourselves a chance to win.
“I know a lot of you are going to have questions about next week and that’s how I’m handling it with our players…we’ll deal with it if it happens,” he said. “Whatever comes, we’re going to deal with it, and we’re going to deal with it head-on, but right now it’s the state of Oklahoma.”
The Cowboys plan to pre-recognize their 26 senior players.
Saturday’s game begins at 12 p.m. EST and will be televised nationally on ESPN2 (Jay Alter and Charles Arbuckle).
Mountaineer Sports Network coverage on stations throughout West Virginia begins with the GoMart Mountaineer Tailgate Show at 9:00 a.m. and leads into regular network coverage at 11:00 a.m. with Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace and Jed Drenning
Listeners can access the broadcast online at WVUsports.com, the WVU Gameday and The Varsity Network apps, or on SiriusXM satellite radio Channel 135 or Channel 200 in the XM App.