OU vs. West Virginia: Three keys to victory

Former OU quarterback Sam Bradford

The Sooners are 2-2 all-time against West Virginia, but suffered a 48-28 Fiesta Bowl shellacking in the last meeting despite having Sam Bradford and crew, and they'll look to win in their first trip to Morgantown. Sooners Illustrated tells you how they can get it done.

Here are this weekend's three keys to victory for the Sooners:

1. Score early and often--West Virginia has the 110th-ranked defense in the country, so it should be no problem for the Sooners to light up the scoreboard. The problem is, though, if they can't, West Virginia has the ability to do the same. They're averaging 480.22 yards per game and 49 total touchdowns, two more than the Sooners, so that makes it imperative for OU to find the end zone. A shootout still figures to go OU's way because of their advantage defensively, but a few hiccups, be it turnovers or just drives stalling out for threes instead of sixes, and they could spell trouble.

2. Contain the QB run game--Pat White scorched the Sooners for 150 yards on 20 carries back in 2008 while also throwing for 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Geno Smith has the ability to beat them on the ground in a similar manner if the Sooners don't spy it out right. Taking this dimension out of the West Virginia offense will be critical..

3. Get some big special teams plays--Tress Way doesn't figure to punt much in this one for the Sooners, so they won't likely be pinning the Mountaineers too deep in their own territory on many occasions. But their kickoff return team will be crucial in setting up shop in nice spots. The good thing is Brennan Clay has shown the ability to do that recently in putting together a nice return before the end of the first half that led to a touchdown in each of the last two games. More of the same would be welcomed.

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