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Oklahoma football: Grading the OU Sooners' 50-49 victory at West Virginia

OU REPORT CARD — The Sooner offense gets its highest marks for being clutch, but Mike Stoops and the defense have some explaining to do.
Oklahoman Published: November 18, 2012

Legacy performances: A. Sterling Shepard produced a huge play, a 52-yard catch and run that set up an OU touchdown after West Virginia had drawn within 31-24 early in the third quarter. Shepard took a short pass near the sideline, juked out two defenders and raced down the sideline. It was a play very similar to the huge play that Shepard's dad, Derrick Shepard, produced against OSU in 1983. Derrick Shepard's 73-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown rallied the Sooners from a 20-3 deficit to a 21-20 victory.

Third-and-long: A. The Sooners converted five third downs in which they needed more than five yards to keep the drive alive. Landry Jones completed five of nine passes in such situations.

Atmosphere: B. The Mountaineers put on a good show, but Milan Puskar Stadium had huge patches of empty seats. You can thank Thanksgiving break. The WVU dorms closed down Friday and won't reopen until Nov. 25. Call it a Thanksgiving break, but also deer season opens Monday, and most everything shuts down in West Virginia for deer season, just like in southeastern Oklahoma.

Belldozer: D. The Sooners five times went to their short-yardage specialty. It worked just twice and failed miserably in the final minute, when Blake Bell was stuffed for a yard loss on 3rd-and-2 from the West Virginia 4-yard line.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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