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HCS Op-Ed: Mountaineers Continue to Shock the Big 12

The West Virginia Mountaineers managed to pull off another big win this past Saturday in Stillwater, Oklahoma against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. This game was much anticipiated, especially after the Mountaineers upset the fourth ranked team in the nation last weekend against the Baylor Bears.

The Mountaineers shut down Oklahoma State in a 34-10 victory. despite being picked to finish near the bottom of the Conference in the preseason, West Virginia is in the thick of the Big 12 race.

It reached 110 degrees on the field in Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday. But, the Mountaineer defense did not let the heat bother them, producing yet another strong performance. OSU did not even convert a first down until the fourth quarter.

Clint Trickett started off the game really strong, throwing two touchdowns in West Virginia’s first eight offensive series for a quick 14-0 lead early in the first quarter. This quickly shocked the Oklahoma State fan base, producing a quiet stadium, that made life a bit easier for Trickett and company.

Even though the offense got the Mountaineers up on the board early in the game, the second quarter belonged to the Cowboys. They scored 10 quick points when Ben Grogan kicked a 40-yard field goal and fullback Teddy Johnson had an 8-yard touchdown catch.

But, the Mountaineer defense stayed composed. They did not let the quick comeback fluster them. The Oklahoma State quarterback Daxx Garman was held to only 242 passing yards. After getting whalloped by TCU last week 42-9, this made it two consecutive poor offensive performance in a row for the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State’s 10 points were its fewest at home since a 34-0 loss to Colorado in 2005. Ouch!

The Cowboys defense did a good job shutting down star wide out Kevin White. His seven game streak of 100 yard games ended, after he was held to just three catches for 27 yards. But, he still managed to pull down a 19-yard touchdown catch on the opening drive. As a result, the Mountaineers run game was in full effect.

Coach Dana Holgerson clearly wanted to run the football, and he did a pretty dang good job at it. WVU rushed for 210 yards on 44 carries, for a 4.8 YPC average.

The offensive star of the game for WVU was sophomore running back Wendell Smallwood. With White bottled up, and Rushel Shell out with injury, he stepped up big time for the Mountaineers. Smallwood had 23 carries for 132 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

Smallwood is a an explosive player. He is fast and he is strong. If you watched the game you noticed that he was so successful because he put his head down and pummelled through the Cowboys defensive line.

This win was the fourth straight for the Mountaineers and they remain a game behind the league leader Kansas State.

The Mountaineers host TCU and Kansas State in their final four games. Despite the tough final  few weeks, the Mountaineers technically control their own destiny in their quest for a Big 12 title.

College Game Day announced this past weekend that they will be coming to Morgantown when they host No. 10 TCU this coming weekend, which might be the featured game of the day, not just in the Big 12, but in the country. Who would’ve thought that in August?

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