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Oklahoma football: Brennan Clay leads Sooners past West Virginia, 16-7

BY KURT VOIGT, AP Sports Writer Modified: September 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm •  Published: September 7, 2013
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NORMAN — Brennan Clay helped Oklahoma overcome its spotty passing game.

The senior running back had a career-high 170 yards rushing as Oklahoma switched quarterbacks in the second half and still beat West Virginia 16-7 on Saturday night.

The No. 16 Sooners (2-0, 1-0 Big 12) scored the game’s final 16 points after trailing 7-0 in the first quarter. Freshman quarterback Trevor Knight threw a pair of third-quarter interceptions, leading to junior Blake Bell taking over in the fourth quarter.

Clay finished with 22 carries, leading an Oklahoma offense that had 316 yards rushing and topping his previous best of 157 yards rushing against Iowa State in 2012.

Paul Millard was 21-of-42 passing for 218 yards for the Mountaineers (1-1, 0-1), whose lone score came on a 75-yard touchdown run by Dreamius Smith in the first quarter.

The game was anything but the offensive showcase the two teams put on last season, when they combined for 1,440 yards of total offense in a 50-49 Oklahoma win.

Of course, the Sooners had four-year starter Landry Jones at quarterback in that game, and West Virginia featured the offensive trio of Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.

Both teams entered this season featuring new quarterbacks, with Knight winning a preseason competition with Bell and Millard taking over for Smith after beating out transfer Clint Trickett. Knight struggled throwing the ball in last week’s 34-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe, but he ran for 103 yards, and Millard threw for 237 yards in a 24-17 come-from-behind win over William and Mary.

Neither starter looked comfortable throwing the ball through three quarters, when they were a combined 25-of-52 passing for 288 yards — and three interceptions.

Knight threw two of those interceptions, both in the third quarter during a stretch where the two teams combined for four of the game’s eight turnovers. The freshman’s first interception ended an Oklahoma drive that had reached the West Virginia 5, and his second came after the Sooners’ defense had intercepted Millard.

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