NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — It wasn’t blooming, but No. 4 Oklahoma put together to flee its non-convention slate unscathed.
Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler doesn’t care about the optics.
“I indicate, we’re 3-0,” he stated. “No longer grand complaining, but all people needs to be higher. There’s never a point where we want to quit and dwell here. We continually ought to climb up.”
The Sooners begin Extensive 12 play at house Saturday in opposition to West Virginia (2-1), which is coming off a 27-21 lift over then-No. 15 Virginia Tech.
West Virginia ranks first nationally in pink zone protection and fourth in tackles for loss. On offense, running support Leddie Brown leads the Extensive 12 with six touchdowns, and quarterback Jarret Doege is heading into his 17th career beginning.
“Here is a complete football crew coming in here,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley stated. “Experienced quarterback, proper flee sport and one of many tip defenses in the country.”
Oklahoma was as soon as scheduled to play West Virginia supreme year, but the game was as soon as canceled thanks to COVID-19 instances and keep up a correspondence to tracing in the Oklahoma program.
“It’s a crew that we didn’t play a year in the past but ready at length for, which is acceptable extraordinary while you switch support on the movie due to there’s no opponent that you simply’ve never played or you haven’t played in two years that you simply’ve considered so grand movie on, which is the an identical ingredient clearly for them on their dwell,” Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch stated.
Oklahoma’s offense hasn’t reached its common requirements. Closing week’s 23-point effort was as soon as Oklahoma’s lowest complete for the reason that 2016 season opener vs. Houston. Rattler struggled to win Oklahoma’s offense going after the Sooners constructed double-digit leads in opposition to Tulane and Nebraska.
West Virginia coach Neal Brown is extra serious about Rattler’s talent level.
“The ingredient about Rattler is his arm talent is so extraordinary,” Brown stated. “He can transfer. He extends plays. They’re going to flee him in the event that they ought to flee him. They like now to now not. However he has one of many strongest palms and one of many quickest releases that I’ve considered in nonetheless long I’ve been doing it.”
Oklahoma cornerback D.J. Graham’s spectacular one-handed interception in opposition to Nebraska was as soon as one of many plays of the college season.
His leaping suitable-handed snatch snuffed out a Cornhuskers threat with the Sooners ahead 23-9.
No longer surprisingly, it came from a player with skills playing offense. Graham was as soon as a receiver at Keller Central Excessive College in Fortress Worth, Texas, and was as soon as recruited as an athlete — now not a offensive or defensive specialist.
Graham wasn’t at the origin thrilled with being moved to protection, but he has embraced it.
“I suitable cling he was as soon as making an are trying to persuade himself that this was as soon as the suitable ingredient,” Riley stated. “As he bought the cling of it he bought available, he had some success. I cling he’s fully convinced now. It’s been an acceptable transfer for him the suitable transfer for him.”
WINLESS VS. SOONERS
West Virginia is 0-8 in opposition to the Sooners since becoming a member of the Extensive 12. Most of those video games since 2012 were blowouts.
“Our largest reveal to this point is this, with out a doubt,” Brown stated.
The closest the Mountaineers came was as soon as in 2012, when Landry Jones’ 5-yard touchdown flow to Kenny Stills with 24 seconds left lifted Oklahoma to a 50-49 lift in Morgantown. In 2018, the Sooners returned two Will Grier fumbles for touchdowns and held off West Virginia 59-56 at streetlevel.
Oklahoma linebacker Nik Bonitto had two sacks and three tackles for loss in opposition to Nebraska. West Virginia linebacker Jared Bartlett sacked Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister thrice, compelled a fumble that he recovered and had 5 tackles.
Rattler entered the season as one of many favorites to contend for the Heisman Trophy, and his numbers are proper. He has done 75% of his passes and has seven touchdown passes and two interceptions.
Restful, every so normally, he makes errors when making an are trying to affect extra than important.
“The ingredient with Spencer is continue to dwell affected person, continue to play for the duration of the diagram and belief his teammates, belief what we’re doing and if we can all affect that as a community, we’ll continue and we’ll bust thru and play blooming effectively constructing soon,” Riley stated.
Oklahoma has two proper running backs in Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray.
Brooks, who sat out supreme season with COVID-19 issues, has rushed for 210 yards and three touchdowns with 6.2 yards per lift. Gray, a transfer from Tennessee, has rushed for 190 yards with 5.6 yards per lift.
“They’re talented, and we’ve bought to affect a extremely suitable job of weeding out explosive plays, and we’ve bought to limit them in the flee sport,” Brown stated.
Put together Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.