Oct 25, 2014 8:48 PM
No. 22 West Virginia rolls past Oklahoma St 34-10
The Associated Press
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) West Virginia, picked to finish near the bottom of the Big 12 this year, will enter November with a chance for the conference title.
Wendell Smallwood ran for a career-high 132 yards to help the 22nd-ranked Mountaineers beat Oklahoma State 34-10 on Saturday.
Clint Trickett passed for 238 yards and two touchdowns and Mario Alford caught seven passes for a season-high 136 yards for the Mountaineers (6-2, 4-1), who earned their fourth straight win and remained a game behind league leader Kansas State.
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, who was Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator in 2010, said he got what he expected a hard-fought game from a team that was tied for second with the Mountaineers and Baylor in the conference. West Virginia had a 17-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
"I'm excited for our coaches and our players to come to Stillwater and get a victory," Holgorsen said. "There wasn't anything easy about it. It was a lot more challenging than what the final score indicated."
Smallwood stepped in for Rushel Shell, who injured a foot during a win over then-No. 4 Baylor last weekend. The sophomore had 23 carries and helped the Mountaineers dominate possession in the second half.
West Virginia receiver Kevin White was held to 27 yards on three catches, ending his nation-leading streak of seven straight games with at least 100 yards. West Virginia took advantage of Oklahoma State's focus on White by rushing for 210 yards.
"We figured they would try to shut down the pass, so it opened it up for all the backs," Smallwood said.
Daxx Garman passed for 242 yards in Oklahoma State second straight poor offensive performance. The Cowboys (5-3, 3-2) were held to 258 yards last weekend in a 42-9 loss to TCU.
Oklahoma State's 10 points were its fewest at home since a 34-0 loss to Colorado in 2005 in coach Mike Gundy's first year with the program.
"In the third quarter, we weren't able to maintain the run," Gundy said. "I thought we lost up front. We became one-dimensional, and when we're one-dimensional, we're an average football team."
West Virginia marched down the field on its opening drive, and White's 19-yard touchdown reception opened the scoring.
On the next drive, Trickett connected with Alford for a 79-yard play to give the Mountaineers a 14-0 lead with 7:49 left in the first quarter. It was the longest pass of Trickett's career and the longest catch for Alford.
Oklahoma State finally got on the board when Ben Grogan hit a 40-yard field goal in the second quarter.
On the Cowboys' next drive, Brandon Sheperd went 51 yards on a reverse, setting up Garman's 8-yard touchdown pass to fullback Teddy Johnson, cutting West Virginia's lead to 14-10.
Oklahoma State got inside the West Virginia 10 on its next drive, but Garman took a sack on third down, and Grogan missed a 36-yarder.
West Virginia led 14-10 at halftime despite allowing 299 yards before the break. The Mountaineers scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the first half, but punted on their last five.
West Virginia's Josh Lambert made a 39-yard field goal in the third quarter, and then added a 43-yarder with 10: 14 remaining in the game to make it 20-10. West Virginia's Dravon Henry returned an interception 52 yards to make it 27-10 with 4:44 remaining.
The Cowboys will have to recover quickly they play at Kansas State on Saturday.
"We have a game next Saturday, whether we like it or not," Gundy said. "We have to rally, stay together as a group, come back tomorrow and go to work."
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.