Sooners and Sooner Schooner Both Roll vs. West Virginia

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Oklahoma’s football team got another big game from quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Sooners rolled past West Virginia 52-14 on Homecoming Day at Owen Field in Norman. The game was also marred by the Sooner Schooner tipping over during a post touchdown celebration in the first half. Hurts was nearly perfect, completing 16 of 17 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing 10 times for 75 yards and two scores. The first three possessions ended in punts, two by West Virginia and one for Oklahoma. The Sooners marched to a score on their second possession, as Jalen Hurts rolled to his right and found a wide open Jeremiah Hall  in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 4:32 to play in the first quarter, capping a 66-yard drive in eight plays. After forcing a punt after just three downs by West Virginia, the Sooners put another scoring drive together, going 74 yards in just four plays. Hurts passed to CeeDee Lamb for 31 yards, then Hurts ran for 28 yards. Two plays later, Hurts passed over the middle to Charleston Rambo for a 6-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Sooners with 2:05 to play in the first quarter. On the final play of the first quarter, West Virginia was set to punt, but faked it, and punter Josh Growden passed to Donte Bonamico for a gain of seven on 4th and 4 to keep the drive alive. It ended in a touchdown in the second quarter, with Austin Kendall passing to T.J. Simmons for a 38-yard touchdown on 4th and 6, cutting the OU lead to 14-7 with 11:57 to play in the second quarter. Oklahoma responded with a 7-play, 75-yard drive, with Kennedy Brooks scoring on a 9-yard touchdown run to make it 21-7 Sooners with 9:08 to play in the first half. OU forced another three-and-out possession for the Mountaineers, the Sooners took just three plays to score, going 57 yards in 3 plays. Hurts passed to Rambo for a gain of 30 yards, then found Lamb for 25 yards. On the next play, Hurts rolled right and couldn’t find a receiver, so cut back to his left and cruised in for a 2-yard touchdown to make it 28-7 Sooners with 6:31 to play. As the Sooner Schooner rolled on to the field to celebrate the score, it appeared to make the turn too sharply, and tipped over on its right side, spilling the Ruf Neks and debris on to the field. Later in the game, OU issued an official statement about the incident: “The Sooner Schooner tipped over today. We believe it was the result of weight distribution among riders in the rear of the wagon. Three individuals were evaluated at the stadium and released. All others reported that they were uninjured. Upon initial evaluation, it also appears the ponies are uninjured. Medical staff responded immediately as did the expert horse handlers and veterinarian who staff all games. We are grateful that the injuries were not serious and for the staff members who responded so well.” After the two teams exchanged punts, West Virginia went 51 yards in seven plays, with Kendall finding Simmons in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown pass to cut the OU lead to 28-14 with 20 seconds left in the first half. Oklahoma got the ball to start the second half and marched 75 yards in six plays, with Hurts keeping for a 22-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 35-14 with 12:51 to play in the third quarter. Oklahoma’s next possession lasted just two plays, with Hurts passing to an open Lee Morris for a 46-yard touchdown to make it 42-14 Sooners with 9:01 to play in the third quarter. West Virginia had to punt on their next possession, and Brayden Willis blocked it, with Austin Stogner recovering in the back of the end zone for a touchdown and a 49-14 OU lead with 6:51 to play in the third quarter. Oklahoma’s next possession moved to the Mountaineers’ 1-yard line, but after a loss of 11 yards on a fumbled snap, the Sooners settled for a 29-yard field goal by Gabe Brkic to make it 52-14 with 14:17 to play. That wrapped up the scoring, with neither team able to tally the rest of the game. The Sooners wore their alternate “Rough Rider” uniforms for the fifth time in the last six seasons against West Virginia. OU is 8-0 against the Mountaineers in the Big 12 era. Oklahoma improves to 7-0 on the season, 4-0 in Big 12 play. The Sooners haven’t been 7-0 since 2004. The Sooners play at Kansas State next Saturday at 11:00 am.    

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