Saturday, November 17, 2012 11:58 pm
No. 13 Oklahoma beats West Virginia 50-49
By JOHN RABYAP Sports Writer
Jones finished with 554 passing yards to break his own school record. He needed a terrific game to offset the performances of West Virginia's tandem of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
It marked the first time in 16 tries that Oklahoma (8-2, 6-1 Big 12) overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to win dating to 2007.
Oklahoma saw its conference title chances revived with No. 2 Kansas State's 52-24 loss to Baylor. The Wildcats (10-1, 7-1) beat the Sooners earlier this season and can still clinch the league's automatic Bowl Championship Series berth with a win on Dec. 1 against No. 18 Texas or with another Oklahoma loss.
Oklahoma has games left against Oklahoma State next Saturday and at TCU on Dec. 1. Any loss also would eliminate the Sooners from consideration for an at-large BCS bowl berth.
The Sooners couldn't hang onto a 31-17 halftime lead. West Virginia went ahead 49-44 with 2:53 left on Bailey's 40-yard TD catch, but Jones led Oklahoma 54 yards for the go-ahead score.
Austin rushed for a school-record 344 yards and set a Big 12 record with 572 all-purpose yards.
Austin broke the record of 337 rushing yards set by Kay-Jay Harris against East Carolina in 2004. He also topped the Big 12 all-purpose yards mark of 375 set by Hollis Mitchell of Texas in 2000 against Kansas.
Bailey had 13 catches for 205 yards and four touchdowns for West Virginia, (5-5, 2-5) which lost its fifth straight game.
The teams combined for 1,440 yards. The 778 yards surrendered by Oklahoma were the most in school history, surpassing the 620 yards allowed in a loss to Baylor last year.
After five straight wins to start the season, West Virginia is still searching for an elusive sixth one to become bowl eligible. The losing streak is the Mountaineers' worst since they lost six straight in 1986. It also was West Virginia's third loss at home this season. The last time that occurred was 2001.
The teams combined for 31 points in the fourth quarter, including four touchdowns over the final seven minutes.
Austin's 54-yard run, plus a pair of Oklahoma penalties on the play, gave West Virginia the ball at the Oklahoma 8. Geno Smith then lofted a ball that Bailey caught in the left corner of the end zone, and the Mountaineers had their first lead, 43-38, with 7:12 left.
Stills finished with 10 catches for 91 yards and four scores. His 7-yard TD grab with 4:10 left gave the lead back to the Sooners, only to have Bailey cap a three-play, 92-yard drive with his third touchdown grab of the quarter with 2:53 left.
That was plenty of time for the Sooners, who took over at their 46. Jones hit Justin Brown with a 36-yard pass. A 10-yarder to Brown put the ball at the West Virginia 14. On fourth-and-3 at the 5, Jones called an audible and found Stills for the go-ahead score.
Smith's desperation pass as time ran out fell incomplete just short of the end zone.