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West Virginia defense folds again as Mountaineers spiral continues

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Geno Smith threw 54 passes for 364 yards without an interception, but it hardly mattered as the WVU defense allowed another 55 points and the Mountaineers lost their fourth in a row, getting demolished by Oklahoma State 55-34.

The Mountaineers are now riding a four-game losing streak. This is the sixth straight game WVU has allowed more than 39 points in a Big 12 game this season and the third time they’ve given up more than 50 points in a game this year.

Despite a quality performance from West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, the Cowboys capitalized on a number of mistakes committed by the Mountaineers special teams and a permeable pass defense, which burned WVU during the road loss.

Completions for touchdowns from Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf to receiver Josh Stewart led the offensive effort for Oklahoma State. Chelf was 22-for-31 on the day for 292 yards and four touchdowns. Stewart recorded a career high 172 receiving yards.

Stewart opened the game with a 46-yard rush for a touchdown during the Cowboys first possession to take the early lead. Chelf’s first toss to Stewart in the end zone quickly made it a 14-0 game.

West Virginia’s backup quarterback Paul Millard entered the game and completed a 37-yard toss to Stedman Bailey, helping the Mountaineers get on the board. There wasn’t much time for celebration as the Cowboys' Justin Gilbert returned the ensuing kick 96 yards for a TD, stretching the Cowboys lead 21-7.

Smith completed a pass to Tavon Austin for 17 yards and a touchdown in an effort to stay within reach of the Cowboys. Oklahoma State answered with a pass from Chelf complete to Blake Jackson for 48 yards and another seven points.

A fumbled punt return recovered by Oklahoma State’s Nico Ornelas put the Cowboys at the West Virginia 14, setting up a 26-yard field goal off the back-to-back possession, making it a 31-14 game.

The Mountaineers continued to play catch up in the second half, but the Cowboys kept out of reach for the remainder of the game. Smith completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Nehlen to start the half, closing the gap and putting the Mountaineers a touchdown back. Chelf completed a pass to Charlie Moore for 5 yards for a touchdown to protect their lead.

After two consecutive scoring plays by the Mountaineers, a 37-yard field goal from Tyler Bitancurt and an interception by Terence Gavin resulting in a WVU touchdown, the Oklahoma offense took off. Quinn Sharp nailed a 32-yard field goal, followed by the second Chelf to Stewart connection and a 21-yard rush from Jeremy Smith for an Oklahoma State touchdown, ending the game in a 55-34 Cowboys victory.

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