MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — For the second week in a row, Garrett Greene led the WVU offense on a scoring drive to end a game. This time, he set up Casey Legg to give the Mountaineers their first Big 12 win over Oklahoma.
Legg’s converted kick from 25 yards out put WVU (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) ahead of the Sooners (5-5 23-20 as the clock expired. That was Legg’s sole field goal attempt of the game and he remains perfect on the season after 13 kicks.
The field goal units made the difference in this game from the outset. The Sooners had the chance to take an early lead on their first drive when they drove into shallow Mountaineer territory.
Kicker Zach Schmit had the opportunity for a 54-yard kick, but the attempt fell well short of the uprights, his first of two misses.
Schmit did give OU the lead after a scoreless first quarter for both teams, knocking through a 32-yard field goal for the game’s first points with just under 10 minutes left if the first half. Eric Gray extended the lead eight minutes of game time later with a 12-yard rush.
The game’s dynamic shifted after that score as WVU made the decisive move to play Greene at quarterback. JT Daniels, WVU’s regular starter, struggled through his second-straight game, completing 7-of-12 passes for 65 yards with an interception. Greene seemed to make an immediate impact as he led the Mountaineers on a 53-yard touchdown drive in just three plays, capping it off with a five-yard run by himself.
Again, though, mistakes on special teams changed the balance, as the Sooners returned WVU’s extra point for two points of their own. Instead of trailing by three points after the touchdown, WVU was behind by six.
Greene put West Virginia in front for the first time in the third quarter when he found Bryce Ford-Wheaton in the end zone from six yards out. The quarterback was 12-for-22 in the contest with 138 yards and the score.
Gray answered for OU about two minutes later as the Sooners led an explosive drive to go back ahead by seven points. The senior tailback finished with 211 yards, his season high, with the two scores.
Those was Oklahoma’s final points of the game as the Mountaineers mounted a 10-point swing. That began with a 72-yard drive at the turn of the fourth quarter that was extended by a clutch fake punt run by Sam James. The junior wide receiver made another big play later in the drive when he caught a 35-yard pass from Greene through contact.
James made three catches in the game for 90 yards.
Greene ended that drive with another rushing touchdown, this time from 11 yards out. That tied the game up at 20 with 11 minutes and 20 seconds on the clock.
Oklahoma had one last chance to take the lead in the fits final drive. The Mountaineer defense stiffined up and held the Sooners to a 46-yard field goal, but Schmit was unsuccessful despite having the distance as the kick went off the right upright.
That gave WVU the opportunity to seal the game with just over six minutes to go. The Mountaineers were primarily able to run the ball down the field, in turn chewing all the time off the clock except for four seconds.
West Virginia got the ball to the Oklahoma six yard line on the right hash, and Legg finished the game off with his only field goal attempt of the game. The make was also his second game-winner of the season.
Greene recorded 119 rushing yards in the game. Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma’s quarterback, finished 17-of-28 passing for 190 yards.
The Mountaineers take their first win over Oklahoma in Big 12 play, and their first since the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. WVU remains alive in its fight for bowl eligibility, but it must win its final two games against Kansas State and Oklahoma State.
The Sooners lose their second straight game and fall to .500 on the season. They must win one of their last two contests to earn a bowl bid.
West Virginia’s home finale is set for Nov. 19 against Kansas State. A time is yet to be announced for that game.