Kyler Murray threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score and No. 6 Oklahoma scored two defensive TDs as the Sooners beat No. 12 West Virginia 59-56 Friday night to earn a spot in next week’s Big 12 championship game.
The Sooners (11-1, 8-1, No. 6 CFP) survived a wild and mostly defenseless affair that featured 1,372 yards of offense to earn a rematch Dec. 1 in Arlington, Texas, against No. 11 Texas, which beat Kansas earlier Friday.
Oklahoma also kept its College Football Playoff chances alive.
West Virginia (8-3, 6-3, No. 13 CFP) lost to Oklahoma for the seventh straight time since joining the league in 2012.
Murray finished 20 of 27 for 364 yards and converted a late fourth down to seal a matchup of Heisman Trophy hopefuls. West Virginia’s Will Grier threw for four touchdowns and a career-high 539 yards on 32 of 49 passing. But Grier lost two fumbles, both of which were returned for touchdowns.
Oklahoma linebacker Caleb Kelly had a 12-yard TD return in the second quarter.
With the Mountaineers trying to regain momentum early in the fourth, Grier was spun around by defensive end Kenneth Mann during a scramble and lost the ball. Oklahoma linebacker Curtis Bolton picked it up and ran 48 yards for a touchdown to put the Sooners ahead 59-49.
Martell Pettaway’s 17-yard TD run with 4:20 left made it a one-score game. But Oklahoma recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock, thanks to Murray.
Oklahoma: The Sooners were unremarkable on defense yet again, but those two stellar plays were the difference. On offense the Sooners surpassed 290 rushing yards for the sixth straight game, coinciding with their six-game winning streak. They also improved their national-best road winning streak to 20 games dating to the 2014 season.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers matched the Sooners punch for punch offensively but made a few more mistakes than Oklahoma and finished the regular season with two straight losses, a huge disappointment for a team that believed they had the right mix to win their first league championship. The Mountaineers will also likely miss out on a New Year’s Six bowl for the seventh straight season.
Oklahoma: Meets Texas, which beat the Sooners 48-45 on Oct. 6 in Dallas. Oklahoma is going after its fourth straight league title.
West Virginia: Will await the Dec. 2 announcement of its bowl destination.
Source: The Associated Press