Oklahoma State hammers WVU, 55-34
College Football Videos
STILLWATER, Okla. — With each passing week, the losses are becoming more difficult to accept.
Following Saturday's 55-34 blowout loss to Oklahoma State at Boone Pickens Stadium, coach Dana Holgorsen gave it to his team full blast in the aftermath of the Mountaineers' first four-game losing streak since 2001.
“It's discouraging,” Holgorsen said. “I made this comment to the coaches that some of the mistakes I saw out there were junior high mistakes. You get into an environment like this, you've got to be mentally tough enough to go out there and execute the way you've been doing for a long, long time. We're clearly not getting through to our players that you need to go out there and not make junior high mistakes 100 percent of the time.”
Mistakes doomed WVU (5-4, 2-4 Big 12), which never recovered from an early 14-0 deficit.
On the Mountaineers' second play from scrimmage, quarterback Geno Smith collided with running back Andrew Buie during a handoff and lost 3 yards. In the third quarter at the Oklahoma State 17 following a holding penalty, Buie tripped over Smith after taking a handoff and lost 3 yards. The Mountaineers settled for a field goal.
However, it was receiver Tavon Austin misplaying a third-quarter punt that really damaged WVU's comeback chances.
Austin didn't move away from the bouncing punt quickly enough. The ball hit Austin, and Oklahoma State's Teddy Johnson recovered at the Mountaineers' 12.
Three plays later, quarterback Clint Chelf's 5-yard touchdown pass gave Oklahoma State (6-3, 4-2) a 38-24 lead.
“When you play a good team, you can't make silly mistakes,” Holgorsen said. “We work handoffs every single day. We work fielding punts every single day. We made silly mistakes on offense. We made silly mistakes on defense. We flat out gave them 17 points.”
WVU has allowed three Big 12 opponents to score at least 50 points this season. All six conference opponents have scored at least 39 points against the Mountaineers, who haven't won since a 48-45 victory at Texas on Oct. 6.
Offensively, the Mountaineers displayed flashes of their former selves but struggled to maintain consistency over four quarters.
Smith was 36 of 54 for 364 yards and two touchdowns. Junior receiver Stedman Bailey had 14 receptions for 225 yards and a touchdown.
Oklahoma State led, 14-0, behind a pair of Josh Stewart touchdowns. Stewart scored on a 46-yard reverse on the Cowboys' opening drive to make it 7-0.
WVU's defense held on the next possession, but Oklahoma State came right back when Chelf connected with Stewart on a 21-yard slant for a two-touchdown advantage.
WVU got on the scoreboard when backup quarterback Paul Millard threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Bailey to make it 14-7. Millard replaced Smith, who lost his helmet following a sack on the previous play. NCAA rules stipulate a player must come off the field for at least one play upon losing his helmet.
Oklahoma State erased any momentum for WVU when Justin Gilbert returned the ensuing kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead.
WVU answered when Smith hit Austin for a 17-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 21-14.
Oklahoma State responded, making it 28-14 on Chelf's 48-yard touchdown pass to tight end Blake Jackson.
WVU fumbled and lost the ensuing kickoff, resulting in a Oklahoma State field goal and a 31-14 lead.
Tyler Bitancurt's 41-yard field goal cut the Cowboys' lead to 31-17 before halftime.
Smith guided WVU on an 88-yard scoring drive covering three plays to open the second half. One play after completing a 75-yard pass to Bailey, Smith tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Nehlen. The Mountaineers trailed, 31-24, with 12:32 left in the third quarter.
Smith scored on a 1-yard sneak to pull WVU within 38-34 with 5:20 left in the third quarter.
Oklahoma State turned a close game into a rout by scoring touchdowns on its first two drives to open the fourth quarter.
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Worley tosses 4-hit shutout against Giants
- Pirates expect high prices in trade market
- Rutgers football coach says Scarlet Knights, Big Ten is ‘a tremendous marriage’
- Gas prices are falling, but Pittsburgh area lags behind average
- Deer Lakes adds staff
- Harrison officials consider alternative routes
- Approval for Wal-Mart closer in McCandless
- Steelers notebook: Team hasn’t called on Keisel, Harrison yet
- Steelers hoping that youth movement breathes life into team
- Tuesday’s scouting report: Pirates at Giants
- 5 stocks that join value, growth