MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It didn’t result in a victory, but Saturday’s game at Oklahoma proved something about WVU football: head coach Neal Brown’s commitment to defense is paying dividends.
The West Virginia defense frustrated the then-No. 4 Sooners from start to finish, limiting them to their lowest point output since 2014. The Mountaineers held Oklahoma to just 57 rushing yards and sacked quarterback Spencer Rattler four times.
Over the years, a high-powered offense has been Oklahoma’s specialty, and has been the standard for teams throughout the Big 12. Brown’s philosophy at West Virginia though, is different — and that’s out of necessity, he said.
“We tried outscoring them and that doesn’t work. When we got here and kind of started putting the foundation on how we want to build this thing to give us an opportunity to win our league, we felt like we had to play great defense,” Brown said. “If you go back, really, to when we got beat by Texas Tech in 2019, since then, we’ve played great defense.”
Despite that stellar defensive effort, West Virginia fell to Oklahoma 16-13 on a walk-off field goal. The Mountaineers either led the Sooners or were tied throughout the contest up to that point.
“I think our guys played really hard defensively, and I thought schematically, we had a good plan, and we executed it,” Brown said.
West Virginia’s next Big 12 tilt is coming up Saturday at home against Texas Tech. The Red Raider offense scores 38.8 points per game, an average that’s on par with Oklahoma’s offense and is tied for third-best in the Big 12.