No. 4 Oklahoma, West Virginia will meet to open Big 12 play
West Virginia (2-1) at No. 4 Oklahoma (3-0), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT (ABC).
Line: Oklahoma by 17 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Oklahoma leads 10-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Oklahoma needs a convincing win to silence critics who say the Sooners’ high ranking is unjustified because of their shaky start. Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler needs some dominant performances to regain his spot as the Heisman favorite. West Virginia could launch itself into the Top 25 with another victory over a ranked team. The Mountaineers are coming off a 27-21 win over then-No. 15 Virginia Tech.
West Virginia RB Leddie Brown vs. Oklahoma’s defensive front. Brown ran for 161 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries against Virginia Tech. The Big 12 leader with six touchdowns could take pressure off Mountaineers quarterback Jarret Doege with a good start. Oklahoma allows just 83.3 yards rushing per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
West Virginia: LB Jared Bartlett. He sacked Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister three times, forced a fumble that he recovered and had five tackles.
Oklahoma: LB Nik Bonitto. The preseason AP first-team All-American had two sacks and three tackles for loss against Nebraska.
FACTS & FIGURES
The teams did not play last year because of COVID-19 cases and contact tracing within the Oklahoma program. ... West Virginia ranks first nationally in red zone defense and fourth in tackles for loss. ... West Virginia’s Winston Wright Jr. ranks No. 2 in the nation in kickoff returns with 43.0 yards per runback. ... Oklahoma has won 11 straight games. ... Oklahoma is averaging 56.7 points and 624.7 yards in the last three matchups between the programs -- all wins for the Sooners.
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