Trevor Knight threw for 119 yards and a touchdown as the No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners held off West Virginia, 16-7, on Saturday.
Despite throwing Oklahoma's lone touchdown, Knight completed just 10-of-20 passes, threw a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble before he was removed in the fourth quarter in favor of Blake Bell. Bell did not complete a pass, but rushed for 21 yards on two carries.
Brennan Clay carried the ball 22 times for a career-high 170 yards and Damien Williams added 95 yards on 21 carries for the Sooners (2-0, 1-0 Big 12), who face Tulsa on Sept. 14.
"I'm really excited to be here, again, after this win. I'm really proud of our players, the way they hung in there and played physical and played tough football to win a tough, hard-fought game. Congratulate (WVU head coach) Dana (Holgorsen), he's got a tough team that plays hard, works hard," said Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. "It's kind of unusual from a year ago where everything was offense winning the game and lighting it all up. This year, it's kind of switched and it was a defensive game by both sides. Still, to come out with a good win feels great."
Paul Millard was 21-of-41 passing for 218 yards and an interception and Dreamius Smith rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown for the Mountaineers (1-1, 0-1), who will host Georgia State on Sept. 14.
"Obviously disappointed with the loss, but I was proud of how our guys fought. We played hard. I think each and every guy that went out there played, coaches and players, I think, played with a lot of effort and I am proud of that," Holgorsen said.
Senior linebacker Doug Rigg left the game on a stretcher after suffering an apparent neck injury with 5 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Rigg collided with another WVU player while attempting to make a tackle and remained on the field for several minutes.
As he was being carted off the field, Rigg waved his arms. He was taken to a local hospital.
After both sides exchanged punts on their first possessions, WVU needed just three plays to find the end zone. On 2nd-and-10 at the WVU 25, Smith took the ball up the middle, broke three tackles then took off toward the left sideline.
Smith then broke another tackle before racing for the end zone, cutting back to the middle of the field near the 10-yard line to cap the highlight-reel 75-yard touchdown run.
The Sooners answered back with a 12-play, 51-yard drive that ended with a 44- yard Michael Hunnicutt field goal. OU was initially stopped on third and short and was forced to punt, but Daryl Worley was flagged for roughing the kicker, and the Sooners were awarded a fresh set of downs.
Knight then led Oklahoma down the field, but a false start penalty on 3rd- and-4, followed by a Knight incomplete pass, forced the Sooners to settle for three points.
Oklahoma was forced to punt on its next touch, but Marion Alford muffed the punt and Oklahoma recovered at the WVU 32-yard line.
The Sooners would need just five plays to get into the end zone as Knight found Trey Millard for a sliding one-yard touchdown reception in the front right corner of the end zone.
Hunnicutt added a 21-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the first half to make it a 13-7 game at the break.
In a sloppy third quarter which featured a combined five turnovers, both sides wasted crucial opportunities to score.
On 1st-and-goal on the WVU five, Knight threw a interception to Darwin Cook in the end zone. The Sooners had gone 83 yards before the pick.
The Mountaineers, though, turned it over five plays later and Gabe Lynn picked off Paul Millard in Oklahoma territory and returned it just shy of mid field.
Knight, though, gave it right back and Karl Joseph caught a tipped pass on the WVU 4-yard line.
The Mountaineers drove to the Oklahoma 25, but a 10-yard holding penalty pushed WVU back to the 35. After a pair of incomplete passes, Paul Millard found Keith White on 3rd-and-20 and the shifty receiver appeared to pick up the necessary yardage, but fumbled on his way to the ground and Lynn pounced on the loose ball.
The teams exchanged empty possessions from there until Hunnicutt booted one through from 32 yards out to make it 16-7 with 10:16 to go in the fourth.
The Mountaineers had an opportunity to cash in on an OU miscue as Hunnicutt banged a 35-yarder off the right upright with just over a minute left, but were unable to get in the end zone.
Oklahoma rushed for 316 yards ... The Sooners are 2-0 against WVU since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 in 2012 ... The Mountainneers have scored in 151 straight games and 173 of their last 176 contests dating back to 1995 ... Smith's 75-yard TD run was WVU's longest play from scrimmage since Tavon Austin's 80-yard TD run against Rutgers on Oct. 29 2011 ... WVU defeated Oklahoma 48-28 in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.