The controversial officiating crew from the Texas-Oklahoma State game last weekend? They’re in Norman this weekend, and let’s just say they’re making their presence felt yet again.
As far as the scoreboard particulars, Oklahoma leads West Virginia 24-7 at the half of a pivotal Big 12 conference matchup. The Sooners put up a pair of touchdowns, both on Baker Mayfield touchdown passes, sandwiched around a Rushel Shell touchdown run for the Mountaineers, then tacked on a late field goal and a Joe Mixon 35-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes remaining to further extend the lead.
Perhaps most impressive about OU’s first-half performance? WVU came into the game leading the nation by giving up just 23 points total in its first three games, although that came against Georgia Southern, Liberty and Maryland. Just as impressive as OU’s offense? OU’s defense allowed just 157 first-half yards to a WVU offense that came in 11th in the country averaging 543.3 yards per game.
The story for much of the game, though, was the yellow laundry littering the field.
Through the first two quarters, OU was flagged seven times for a whopping 85 yards. WVU, not wanting to be left out of the festivities, was on the receiving end of six penalties for 51 yards, and that’s even with bruising defensive back Karl Joseph seemingly getting away with a first-quarter hit that certainly looked to be in the neighborhood of targeting — especially for a flag-happy crew. One series, however, perfectly encapsulated this early-October Flag Day.
The Mountaineers’ lone touchdown of the half early in the second quarter was the culmination of an 86-yard drive that, on paper, looked impressive. However, 50 of those yards came courtesy of the Sooners’ defense, with three of those being 15-yard personal-foul penalties.
Individually, Mayfield is trending toward a second consecutive 400-yard passing game as he has put up 212 yards in the air through the first two quarters.