Oklahoma-West Virginia: One Big Thing

Through three games, the Sooners and Mountaineers are headed in different directions on the turnover front.
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Say what you want about Spencer Rattler checking it down, the Oklahoma offensive line blocking with more ferocity or the pass defense needing to sew up some frayed edges.

The biggest thing about Saturday’s Big 12 Conference opener between no. 4-ranked Oklahoma and West Virginia is turnovers.

The Sooners are ranked fifth in the nation in turnover margin at plus-5 in their first three games, while the Mountaineers are 128th nationally at minus-5 in their three.

Rattler has shown a tendency to be loose with the football, and if Nebraska defensive backs had better hands, OU’s turnover margin might be less impressive. But on 99 throws so far in 2021, Rattler has thrown just two picks, and the Sooner offense has not lost a fumble yet.

WVU, meanwhile, has give the football away seven times, losing four of its eight fumbles to go with quarterback Seth Doege’s three interceptions.

The Oklahoma defense has recovered five fumbles and taken away two interceptions, while the Mountaineers have two fumble recoveries and zero interceptions.

Now, coming off the heels of D.J. Graham’s spectacular one-handed interception against Nebraska, the confidence and competitiveness that catch might inspire from the rest of the secondary could go a long way for the Sooners throughout Big 12 play.

“It was huge,” Lincoln Riley said. “It wasn’t something we’ve never seen.”