Oklahoma’s football team used big plays on offense and defense to beat West Virginia 44-24 on Saturday at Owen Field in Norman.
The Sooners struck first, going 74 yards in four plays, with back-to-back completions from Baker Mayfield to Michiah Quick for 34 and 23 yards.
That set up Mayfield’s 17-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Mark Andrews to give the Sooners a 7-0 lead with 8:45 to play in the first quarter.
OU got an interception by Jordan Thomas later in the quarter, but could not capitalize.
The Sooners hurt themselves with six penalties for 80 yards in the first quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Rushel Shell scored on a 5-yard touchdown run for West Virginia, capping a 7-play, 86-yard drive, to tie the game at 7.
Oklahoma responded on the enusing possession, with Mayfield lobbing one over the shoulder to Sterling Shepard for a 28-yard touchdown to put the Sooners back on top 14-7 with 14:04 to play in the first half.
OU added a 40-yard field goal from Austin Siebert to extend the lead to 17-7 with 9:00 to play in the second quarter.
Late in the half, freshman running back Joe Mixon scored his first career rushing touchdown, on a 35-yard run up the middle to make it 24-7 Sooners with 2:16 to play in the half.
The second half did not start well for the Sooners.
After three plays and a punt, OU’s defense allowed West Virginia to go 77 yards in 15 plays, with Skyler Howard passing to Jovon Durante for a one-yard touchdown pass to cut the Sooner lead to 24-14.
On OU’s first snap after the touchdown, Dede Westbrook caught a pass from Mayfield, but was stripped of the ball by Daryl Worley and Nick Kwiatkoski recovered for the Mountaineers at the OU 39-yard line.
That set up a 23-yard field goal by Josh Lambert to make it 24-17 Oklahoma with 6:57 to play in the third quarter.
Another three-and-out OU possession followed and West Virginia got the ball with a chance to tie the game.
The Oklahoma defense then made a huge play, with Matt Dimon sacking Howard and causing a fumble.
D.J. Ward scooped up the loose ball and returned it 8 yards to the WVU 7-yard line.
The OU offense couldn’t move the ball, though, with Mayfield taking a sack on third down, forcing Siebert to kick a 25-yard field goal to make it 27-17 Oklahoma with 2:34 to play in the third quarter.
West Virginia cut into the Sooner lead even more, marching to a touchdown, with Howard keeping on a 50-yard touchdown run on 4th and 2, making the OU lead 27-24 with :58 left in the third quarter.
Oklahoma responded quickly, with Mayfield passing to a wide open Durron Neal for a 71-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 10 again, 34-24.
Mayfield was 14 of 25 passing for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Sooner defense made the next big play, as Eric Striker sacked Howard from behind and knocked the ball loose.
Jordan Evans picked it up and ran 41 yards for a touchdown to put OU up 41-24 with 9:37 to play in the game.
The next WVU possession resulted in another turnover, with Jordan Thomas intercepting Howard and returning it 38 yards to the Mountaineer 20.
That set up a 44-yard field goal by Siebert to give OU a 44-24 lead with 6:06 to play.
Siebert kicked three field goals.
West Virginia’s third straight turnover came on the next possession, as Ahmad Thomas intercepted Howard and returned it 29 yards to the WVU 29.
It was the fifth Mountaineer turnover of the day.
Oklahoma has now won four straight against West Virginia, and improved to 4-0 on the season, with Texas up next on Saturday, October 10 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
West Virginia fell to 3-1, and will host Oklahoma State on October 10.