In WVU football’s biggest home game in 23 years, according to Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler during the 8 p.m. ABC broadcast, the Mountaineers didn’t even bother to show up. The Big 12-leading Oklahoma Sooners took the field at Milan Puskar Stadium and claimed superior before the opening coin toss.
The game started how it was supposed to from a West Virginia perspective, as they forced a punt after allowing only one first down. As we talked about in our preview, the punt return game proved to be critically important very early.
Sohpomore return man Gary Jennings will receive most of the blame for this early mistake, but he was just trying to make sure West Virginia got possession. From replays, Jennings appears to think the ball hit his teammate in the back of the leg, forcing him to try and cover it. Oklahoma got possession and scored just a few plays later, making the Mountaineers play catch up from the beginning.
On the following possession, West Virginia couldn’t produce any points. And their defense – the strength of their team – seem disinterested. They couldn’t get off blocks. They couldn’t tackle. Even when they did get off blocks and wrap up, they got shrugged off. It was a very difficult game to watch. I had never seen that team that played Saturday night before. I didn’t even recognize the Mountaineers. It was an absolute beat down.
The loudest chant at Milan Puskar Stadium was not the favorite “Let’s Go!…Mountaineers!”Instead, it was something unfamiliar to the area. “Boomer! Sooner!”
I figured the snow that started just before kickoff would affect the game. Even the disrespect from outsiders should’ve ruffled some feathers for the Mountaineers.
They used all of that energy the wrong way. Instead of letting it fuel them, it became their demise.
After every play, whether West Virginia did something good or not, they were trash-talking. I’m a huge fan of trash-talk, but under certain circumstances, it’s OK to be quiet.
When you’re losing by 28 – it’s OK to be quiet.
When you’re losing by 28 at home – it’s OK to be quiet.
When you’re losing by 28 at home in a primetime game – it’s OK to be quet.
When you;re losing by 28 at home in a primetime game when nobody gave you a chance – it’s OK to be quiet.
What could they have possibly been saying? “Yeah, well next year! uh..Well I beat you that one play!..” Oklahoma didn’t even have to respond. They were doing all their talking with the scoreboard.
The final score read 56-28 Oklahoma, but WVU lost this game before the opening kickoff.