sportsOklahoma Sooners

5 Takeaways from OU’s 16-13 win over West Virginia: Sooners, Rattler survive again

The Sooners’ quarterback shook off a rough first half and a rough home crowd to lead a game-winning drive for still-undefeated Oklahoma.

Survive and advance

After all that... the No. 4-ranked Sooners are now 4-0, having won the program’s 12th-straight game after defeating Big 12 opponent West Virginia 16-13.

Kicker Gabe Brkic pumped a 30-yard chip shot through the uprights at the buzzer for the win, giving the Sooners their first lead of the game as the clock struck 0:00.

Once again, the defense is the reason the Sooners scraped by, allowing just 13 points total and only a field goal in the second half.

The offense was able to right the ship just in time for a game-winning drive, and OU, despite the complete and total lack of style points, comes out with the victory

After a day in which college football saw Nos. 7, 9 and 14 fall, there’s something to be said for that.

Things are getting awkward for Spencer Rattler

The Sooners quarterback may have experienced the nadir of his Oklahoma career to this point during second quarter on Saturday night.

The OU offense had the ball four times in the second quarter and went punt, punt, interception, punt, and two of those punts were after three-and-out drives.

After the interception, very audibly both at the stadium and over the broadcast, the OU student section let its thoughts be known:

Loud chants of “We want Caleb” calling for Oklahoma backup QB Caleb Williams broke out periodically for the rest of the night (interspersed with good old-fashioned booing), which made for a rather uncomfortable watch as the camera repeatedly lingered on Rattler while the home crowd turned against him.

To his credit, Rattler played the entire game, and he went 6 for 6 passing on the final drive of the night — a 14-play, 80-yard drive that burned off the rest of the clock and culminated in the go-ahead Brkic field goal.

OU offense, adapt or die

The OU offense has now seen eight quarters of the deep-safeties, nothing-over-the-top defense deployed by both Nebraska and West Virginia, and they’ve put up only 37 points against it while generally looking a mess.

Last week Nebraska largely shut off the OU passing game, especially deep, but thankfully running backs Eric Gray and Kennedy Brooks were able to bail the offense out with 84 and 75 rushing yards, respectively.

This week the passing game remained spasmodic, and West Virginia was able to shut down the running game as well. Gray and Kennedy combined for only 54 total yards. The offensive line was in disarray for most of the night, and Spencer Rattler spent much of it running for his life.

This is how Oklahoma is going to be played going forward, until the offense proves that it can do something against the nothing-deep defense. Where the Sooner season goes is going to depend on if Lincoln Riley, Rattler and others can fix what’s broken on their side of the ball. Even with their schedule, they won’t survive many more games like the past two.

Injuries continue to rack up on defense

The defense, once again, bailed out the Sooners in the win, but it lost another big contributor, and one who’d had a huge game to that point.

Safety Delarrin Turner-Yell had five tackles, a big hit that broke up a pass, and an interception against the Mountaineers before he had the West Virginia running back land on his ankle after a run. Turner-Yell immediately signaled for the trainers, and not long after he was ruled out for the game.

This was after the Sooners announced during the week that both defensive tackle Jalen Redmond and cornerback Woodi Washington will miss extended time.

OU doesn’t get its first Saturday off for another five weeks. If the defense is going to be as heavily depended upon as it was tonight, Alex Grinch and company are going to need a little bit more luck health-wise than what they’ve been getting.

Gabe Brkic Heisman campaign in full force

Did anyone doubt that Gabe Brkic would put that final field goal through? Were the ABC broadcast’s conspiratorial attempts to jinx him enough to cloud your trust, or were you a Brkic Believer through-and-through?

The OU kicker continued to show that he’s the most dependable guy at his position on this roster, going 3/3 on FGs including the aforementioned game-winner.

He’s now 8 for 10 on the year total, including 4 of 5 from 50+ yards, and 14 of 14 on extra points. There’s a lot going wrong with the offense right now, but you can assume that if they’re able to get the ball within the enemy’s 35, they’re going to get three points out of it, at least.

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Find more Oklahoma coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

R.J. Coyle, Oklahoma Sooners blogger. Covers Oklahoma sports for The Dallas Morning News.

coylesports3@gmail.com @coylio33
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