WVU's Clint Trickett threw for 309 yards and a TD, with two interceptions, in his first start of 2013. (Tyler Evert/AP)
Just one week ago, Dana Holgorsen's West Virginia team limped off the field after a 37-0 loss to Maryland, a game in which the Mountaineers' offense had picked up only two first downs. On Saturday, that same West Virginia squad took down the program that many considered the favorite to win the Big 12 title.
The unranked Mountaineers jumped out to a 24-14 halftime lead and held on to topple No. 11 Oklahoma State 30-21. West Virginia is known primarily as an offensive-minded team under Holgorsen, but the Mountaineers won despite being outgained 433 yards to 388. The Cowboys cut West Virginia's lead to three points on a 30-yard J.W. Walsh-to-Jeremy Seaton touchdown pass less than four minutes into the third quarter.
Oklahoma State threatened to score another touchdown with less than 10 minutes left in the game. Trailing 24-21, the Cowboys had first-and-goal at the Mountaineers' three-yard line. But an incomplete pass and two failed rushing attempts left Oklahoma State with fourth-and-goal from the six, and freshman kicker Ben Grogan clanked his 23-yard field goal attempt off the right upright to preserve West Virginia's three-point lead.
The Mountaineers forced a punt and picked Walsh off on the Cowboys' next two drives. Meanwhile, West Virginia kicker Josh Lambert knocked in two fourth-quarter field goals to seal the upset.
Oklahoma coach Mike Gundy's team shot itself in the foot several times, including three turnovers (Walsh threw two interceptions). But West Virginia's defense came up big when it mattered most, allowing the Cowboys to convert just 6-of-20 third downs.
The Mountaineers -- who made a staggering 21 changes to their two-deep depth chart before the game -- improved to 1-1 in conference play. They got big games from quarterback Clint Trickett, who threw for 309 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in his first start, and running back Charles Sims, who gained 142 all-purpose yards (62 rushing, 80 receiving) and scored a touchdown on a one-yard run late in the first half.
If Oklahoma State hopes to remain in the Big 12 title picture, it must rebound over the next three games, as the Cowboys host Kansas State and TCU before traveling to Iowa State. Those should serve as important tune-ups for a brutal three-game stretch against Texas (on Nov. 16), No. 19 Baylor (Nov. 23) and No. 14 Oklahoma (Dec. 7) to close out the regular season.