Oklahoma-West Virginia Observations: LIVE In-Game Blog

John Hoover, Ryan Chapman and Josh Callaway offer their real-time observations from the Sooners' Big 12 opener against West Virginia.
Publish date:

10:12 p.m.

Final score:


10:11 p.m.

Final stats. What an unlikely win for a 17-point favorite:

— JH

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9:37 p.m.

The last time Oklahoma rushed for less than 100 yards was the 2019 Peach Bowl against LSU. 

The Sooners have 44 yards rushing with 3:39 to play in this one tonight.

— JH

9:34 p.m.

Wow. Doege’s play-action fake was so good, three Sooner defenders ran into each other trying to follow Leddie Brown without the football.

Still, the WVU quarterback could only pick up three yards with his legs on the naked bootleg.

— RC

9:25 p.m.

A holding penalty sees the drive stall, but the Sooners still tie it up behind a 35-yard field goal from Gabe Brkic. It was a 16 play, 62-yard drive.

OU 13 WVU 13 8:52 4Q

— RC 

9:14 p.m.

Never a good sign when the quarterback is having to juke out defenders in the backfield just to get a quick slant off… But here we are.

— RC

9:13 p.m.

Official attendance is 84,353, the 137th consecutive home sellout (of a regularly scheduled home game). Streak second in the country only to Nebraska.

— RC 

9:12 p.m.

Third quarter stats. Sooners really have a lot of work to do -- tonight and this season.

-- JH

9:10 p.m.

End of three. Fourth quarter gonna be lit.


9:02 p.m.

Say what you want about how the fans greeted the offense in the first half… they’re still very much here and into this one still. Hasn’t always been a given over the past couple of years, even in games where the Sooners haven’t been in full control (see: Tulane).

— RC

8:55 p.m.

Man. Rattler finally takes a deep shot but then underthrows a wide open Mike Woods as a defender arrives and the ball deflects off the defenders head. On the next play, Rattler overthrows Drake Stoops behind the defense. On third down, Rattler dumps a screen pass to Mario Williams, who gets 9 yards to set up a fourth-and-1. On fourth down, Kennedy Brooks is stuffed and it's WVU ball. That was Andrew Raym getting driven back at the point of attack.

— JH

8:53 p.m.

Wanya Morris finally enters the game at left tackle — somebody needs to do something to get the offense going — and Spencer Rattler runs right into a sack against his man. This offense is just not in sync.

— JH

8:52 p.m.

Check that — Marvin Mims and Eric Gray in to return. It appears Riley thinks the Sooners need the special teams spark as well.

— RC

8:50 p.m.

OU needs a special teams spark. Needs Mario Williams or D.J. Graham to be special here for a jolt… No confidence in the O-line.

— RC

8:46 p.m.

Turner-Yell emerged from the injury tent and the equipment staff had his helmet. Would appear his night is done.

— RC

8:42 p.m.

Per Josh Callaway, Delarrin Turner-Yell got dinged up on that 10-yard completion and came off the field, and now, three plays later, he appears injured. He’s laying on the West Virginia sideline and is coming off the field with help from the medical staff. And per Ryan Chapman, it appears WVU running back Leddie Brown stepped on Turner-Yell’s ankle.

— JH

8:40 p.m.

Freshman quarterback Caleb Williams is getting his lower body/back stretched out by an athletic trainer and is now riding a stationary bike.

— JH

8:35 p.m.

The score is tied at 10-10 now, but OU’s 10-7 deficit at halftime was the Sooners’ first halftime deficit at home since 2016 (Ohio State).

The Mountaineers’ field goal as time expired also represented the first time all season an opponent has scored against the Sooners in the second quarter. OU now has outscored opponents 51-3 in the second quarter this season.

— JH

8:33 p.m.

After Spencer Rattler misfires a pass into the end zone — he led Austin Stogner a bit too much — Jaden Haselwood looked at his quarterback, slapped his chest with both hands, and let him know he thought he was open. Replay showed a defender was actually to Haselwood, but Haselwood had position in the end zone where Rattler might have thrown a tight, low pass for the score. Instead, the Sooners settle for a Gabe Brkic field goal, and it’s 10-10, 11:26 to play in the third quarter.

— JH

8:28 p.m.

And just like that, Rattler zips a bullet over the middle to Mike Woods for 35 yards and then finds Woods out in the right flat for a pickup of 12.

— JH

8:26 p.m.

Spencer Rattler starts the third quarter behind center, and we swear from the press box it sounds like a smattering of boo’s.

— JH

8:16 p.m.

Just some bonkers numbers to illustrate how bad the O-line was in the first half.

91 total yards, only 1.8 yards per rush.

Passing game? 10.4 yards per completion which is okay… except for the fact that the number drops to 5.8 yards per completion outside of Gray’s reception on the first drive.

Only converted one third down (the touchdown). Absolutely getting whipped up front.

— RC

8:06 p.m.

Halftime in Norman. Sooners trail WVU 10-7

— JH


8:05 p.m.

First half stats. It ain't pretty.

— JH

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7:57 p.m.

More boos and chants for Caleb Williams emitting from the student section after Rattler forced another ball in on second down. This could get ugly if the Sooners aren’t able to move the ball right out of the half.

— RC

7:49 p.m.

Lost in the shuffle of the interception, much better blitz pickup help by Kennedy Brooks to give Rattler the extra time to… turn the ball over.

— RC

7:46 p.m.

Rattler had Drake Stoops wide open and under threw him. The ball should have been intercepted by Daryl Porter but went through his hands and was still intercepted by Jackie Matthews. Awful throw. Which incites the crowd into a boisterous chant: “WE WANT CALEB! (Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) WE WANT CALEB!”

— JH

7:45 p.m.

McCutchin’s footsteps cause the drop on third down. McCutchin’s active hands force the fumble on second down.

Add that in with his intelligent use of the boundary as an extra defender on the first drive and it’s easy to see why he’s pushing D.J. Graham for so much playing time.

— RC

7:42 p.m.

Latrell McCutchin really playing some high-level cornerback there. Delayed rush on Greene’s keeper, then as he came in and delivered a hit, he also executed a strip-fumble. The ball was recovered by WVU, but McCutchin had that thing the whole time. Pretty good for a true freshman.

— JH

7:40 p.m.

Rattler’s indecision when he pulls it down and runs the football is stark. I think there’s some of the same problem happening when he goes to throw it. He just can’t seem to make up his mind.

— JH

7:38 p.m.

Best defensive line the Sooners have faced by far this year, and so far the offensive line has failed the test. Really bad outside of the opening drive, which of course is scripted.

— RC 

7:31 p.m.

Oklahoma defense has figured a few things out up front, and Doege either overthrowing his receivers for INTs or checking down into traffic works just great for the Sooners.

— JH

7:22 p.m.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Oklahoma defense rises up. A brutal throw from Doege and Delarrin Turner-Yell has his first INT of the season.

— JH

7:21 p.m.

This is exactly the situation the Sooners want to live in defensively.

Doege isn’t a huge threat on the ground, D-line gets to pin their ears back and try to go hit him. He’ll throw plenty of interceptions too if you get in his face. First time tonight the Sooners have gotten the Mountaineers into third and long.

— RC 

7:20 p.m.

First quarter is a dead heat:


7:16 p.m.

After one, Sooners and Mountaineers tied 7-7. First quarter stats:

— JH

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7:16 p.m.

Another third down, another conversion for the WVU offense. Oklahoma is getting some push, but Jarret Doege is easily getting away from it. Might be time for a spy? Or a delayed blitz?

— JH

7:12 p.m.

Spencer Rattler is getting his ankles re-taped. Black tape on the outside of his shoes. Probably just wants more stability, but wonder if that means he’ll be running more?

— JH

7:11 p.m.

Welcome back to the party, Austin Stogner.

Caught the touchdown on third down, but also was Spencer Rattler’s target (though overthrown) on OU’s first third down of the game. An underutilized weapon through the non-conference slate.

— RC 

7:10 p.m.

Rattler to Stogner and the Brkic extra point ties it up at 7-7, 2:46 to play in the first quarter. Rattler kinda got dumped on his head on a keeper the play before, but his throw to Stogner (on target this time) was money.

— JH

7:08 p.m.

After a high throw from Rattler to Stogner, Eric Gray takes a shorts swing pass from Rattler and jukes Josh Chandler-Semedo and Sean Mahone to pick up 38 yards and set up first and goal. When Gray is decisive like that, it’s electric.

— JH

7:06 p.m.

As expected, Andrew Raym is the Sooners' starter at center tonight.

— JH

7:02 p.m.

The defensive rotations continue to confound this writer.

Have West Virginia into a third down in the red zone, the Mountaineers call timeout and the 2’s still came out on the defensive line. Shouldn’t the starters be well rested on the first drive of the game coming out of a timeout? At least make Neal Brown think about a field goal of run another fourth down play. Instead, easy first down and WVU caps off the opening possession of the game with a score.


— RC 

6:59 p.m.

Garrett Green, the Mountaineers’ backup QB, comes in as a change of pace runner, and scoots untouched into the end zone on a read-option. Sooner defense provided very little resistance on that 17-play, 75-yard, more than 9-minute drive. WVU was 3-of-4 on third down and 1-for-1 on fourth down, and leads 7-0, 5:53 on the clock.

— JH

6:56 p.m.

Interesting sub patterns already here on this big WVU drive. Coming off a timeout, the front six were all backups on that third-and-3, and WVU gets the first down easy.

— JH

6:53 p.m.

WVU had the Oklahoma defense — chock full of subs — completely confused before that third-and-3. But it’s the Mountaineers who call a timeout. They’re at the 25 with 8:45 to play in the quarter.

— JH

6:52 p.m.

Looks like Justin Broiles will continue to be the No. 2 nickel while Jeremiah Criddell is on the mend.

— RC

6:51 p.m.

In that third and long, Oklahoma brought in Reggie Grimes at d-end and slid Isaiah Thomas across to d-tackle. Thomas was able to help Brian Asamoah finish the tackle on Doege. All for naught, however, as Doege converts with a pass across the middle on fourth-and-4.

— JH

6:47 p.m.

Big hit by Delarrin Turner-Yell on the sideline forces an incompletion by Winston Wright, who gets driven into the ground — and then into Lincoln Riley. Riley, who’s been wearing a protective boot on his left foot (but not on gamedays).

— JH

6:45 p.m.

Your defensive starters:

Bonitto - Winfrey - Ellison- Thomas

Asamoah - White

Graham - Bowman - Davis

Fields - Turner-Yell

— RC

6:45 p.m.

Josh Ellison starts at defensive tackle for the Sooners in place of Jalen Redmond.

— JH

6:36 p.m.

We just had a terrific flyover. Starting lineups being announced now. Here we go...

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6:25 p.m.

Down. Goes. Clemson. 

Scraping by might just be good enough in this wild 2021 football season...

-- RC

6:00 p.m.

Funny moment in the Press Box.

Hoover just leaned in to me to mention how Justin Harrington had fallen off the face of the earth (not on the two-deep). Looks down to the field to find him, and he's working out with Grinch and the safeties. 

The next Tre Norwood?

-- RC

5:51 p.m.

Jalen Redmond is still listed as the starting DT on our updated depth chart, but so is Danny Stutsman. Interestingly, Jeremiah Criddell and Woodi Washington aren't listed.

SI Sooners reported earlier this week that Redmond would miss a couple of weeks with a knee injury, and Redmond has not been spotted in pads yet. 


5:40 p.m.

Whenever you think you've got it bad this year Sooners fans, take a look at Texas A&M, Iowa State, Auburn, Clemson...

-- RC

5:30 p.m.

Oklahoma's pregame warmups have begun. Nickel back Jeremiah Criddell, who has been removed from the official pre-game depth chart, is not warming up with his teammates.

— JH