Greene shines in relief, Legg’s FG lifts WVU over Oklahoma
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Garrett Greene jumped on a retaining wall and sang “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with West Virginia fans after the backup quarterback helped the Mountaineers get a rare win over Oklahoma.
Greene ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third score in his most extensive work of the season, and Casey Legg’s 25-yard field goal as time ran out lifted West Virginia to a 23-20 victory on Saturday, setting off a celebration in a steady drizzle.
Greene played two series in the first half and the entire second half in relief of starter JT Daniels, who had his second straight lackluster outing.
“My thought process, as always, was stay ready,” Greene said. “I was just happy to be on the field and be a factor in the game.”
West Virginia (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) beat the Sooners for the first time since joining the Big 12 in 2012. The Mountaineers avoided being eliminated from bowl consideration but still must win its final two games to qualify for the postseason.
Oklahoma (5-5, 2-5) will have to wait another week to try to become bowl eligible.
“We weren’t very good at the wrong times,” Oklahoma coach Brent Venables said. “The mistakes that we made today are things that, again, this game will punish you.”
The Sooners had the chance to retake the lead but Zach Schmit’s 46-yard field goal try hit the right upright with 6:24 remaining.
West Virginia took over at its 29 and Greene drove the Mountaineers the length of the field. He converted a fourth-down pass for 5 yards to Bryce Ford-Wheaton to the Oklahoma 34 and ran 7 yards on third down to the Oklahoma 10 with 51 seconds left.
That set the stage for Legg, who has made all 13 of his field goal tries this season.
Oklahoma’s Eric Gray rushed for 211 yards, including TD runs of 12 and 5 yards. His second score put the Sooners ahead 20-13 late in the third quarter. Gray now has 1,113 yards for the season.
Greene’s 11-yard TD run that followed his 16-yard pass to Kaden Prather on fourth down early in the fourth quarter tied the score at 20-20.
Greene finished with 119 rushing yards on 14 carries. He completed 12 of 22 passes for 138 yards. Prior to Saturday he had thrown 15 passes all season.
“My guys really did a great job because I didn’t play all too great today,” Greene said. “But they did a great job and helped me out when things didn’t go my way.”
Daniels completed 7 of 12 passes for 65 yards and threw his seventh interception in the last five games.
After Greene’s 5-yard TD run just before halftime, West Virginia’s Kolten McGhee dropped the extra-point snap. Legg grabbed the ball and briefly looked toward the end zone, was hit by Oklahoma’s Robert Spears-Jennings and fumbled. McGhee made another attempt to pick up the ball, but Oklahoma’s Billy Bowman scooped it up and ran 88 yards for two points, giving the Sooners a 12-6 halftime lead.
Legg said he and McGhee laughed off the play afterward.
“For about 0.5 seconds, I was the quarterback,” Legg said. “It’s the only hit I’ve taken as a football player.”
Oklahoma: The Sooners were held scoreless in the fourth quarter, have the most losses in a season since 2014 and have been eliminated from the Big 12 title chase. This marks the first time since 1998-99 that Oklahoma will not have back-to-back seasons of at least 10 wins.
West Virginia: Sitting the immobile Daniels for the second half against a swarming Oklahoma defense was the difference.
Oklahoma hosts Oklahoma State next Saturday. The Sooners have won the teams’ last three meetings in Norman, Okla., and eight of the past nine at home.
West Virginia hosts No. 23 Kansas State next Saturday. The Mountaineers have won the last three games against the Wildcats in Morgantown.
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