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Lincoln Riley Previews West Virginia

Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley gives his thoughts on the Mountaineers

West Virginia faces its toughest test of the season on Saturday as the Mountaineers travel to the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday.

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Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley opened his weekly press conference discussing the challenges his Sooners will face in a primetime matchup versus the Mountaineers.

"Looking forward to starting our conference journey here with a really good West Virginia team to start it off," said Riley. "Obviously. They're playing at a high level. Neal Brown's done a tremendous job there. He's got a great staff. A lot of guys we're very familiar with and have crossed paths with at different points and clearly doing a great job."

"Obviously, this is the one game that we missed last year as far as playing in the conference. It will be good to get a chance to compete against these guys," continued Riley. "They're playing at a very high level. Obviously, had a huge win last weekend against a very good Virginia Tech team. So, this is a complete football team coming in here. Experienced quarterback, a strong run game, and one of the top defenses in the country, and they were last year and certainly playing already at a very high level this year."

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley slaps hands with Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks (26) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Oklahoma won 23-16.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley slaps hands with Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks (26) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Oklahoma won 23-16.

The West Virginia defense comes into the game as the nation's No. 1 red zone defense, and after recording 31 tackles for a loss in the first three games, they are ranked fourth nationally.

"Great group. It will be a really, really, good defensive front," said Riley. "They're experienced at linebacker and very experienced at safety, got a corner that has played a lot got a couple of transfers that came in within the DB's and really, they haven't missed a beat. They lost some good players from last year, but they're playing at a really high level. They can rush the passer, they're very good against the run, they do some really good things schematically. So, they're challenging really at all levels."

The Mountaineers are 1-6 all-time in Norman, with the only win coming in 1982 and the all-time series record is 10-2 in Oklahoma's favor. West Virginia's last win came on the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. The Mountaineers are 0-8 against the Sooners since joining the Big 12. 

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