NORMAN, Okla. -- West Virginia visits Oklahoma in an early season Big 12 clash at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Here are three things to keep an eye on when the Mountaineers take on the Sooners.
Can Trevor Knight beat WVU with his arm?
Expect the Mountaineers to come out with a plan to force the Sooners redshirt freshman quarterback to beat them with his passing. Knight struggled in his first start, completing 11 of 28 pass attempts for 86 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. OU wants to be more efficient through the air and has defended Knight’s passing struggles this week, pointing to nerves and dropped balls for some of the issues through the air. WVU should stack the box and force the Sooners to put the game on Knight’s shoulders.
How will WVU’s quarterbacks handle the environment?
Saturday marks the first trip to Oklahoma Memorial Stadium for the Mountaineers since they joined the Big 12 Conference. There’s no way to know how Paul Millard will respond to 80,000 Sooners fans trying to make life miserable for the Mountaineers offense. It’s also the first time this season Millard will see a defense with the speed of the Sooners. For those reasons, WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said he would continue to give first team reps to Clint Trickett with a eye on having him ready if needed against OU. If OU can rattle Millard early, the Sooners might take control of the game.
How will the Sooners’ secondary hold up?
OU had a superb showing in its 34-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe to start the season. Its pass defense allowed just 128 yards through the air, and cornerback Zack Sanchez and safety Quentin Hayes looked outstanding in their first collegiate starts. But the Mountaineers feature athletes and passing schemes the Sooners haven’t seen since last year. WVU will be able to take advantage of any mistakes the Sooners secondary makes, and one or two big plays could change the outcome.