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WVU Football Top Ten Plays of 2016: Number 6

Justin Crawford breaks out against Oklahoma

Oklahoma v West Virginia Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The play: 1st and 10 at WVU 13 (14:43 - 2nd) Justin Crawford run for 29 yds to the WVirg 42 for a 1ST down 1st and 10 at WVU 42 (14:31 - 2nd) Justin Crawford run for 36 yds to the Okla 22 for a 1ST down

The Setup: This one is a bit of a cheat for me. Justin Crawford didn’t have a single play that particularly WOW’ing enough to make the Top Ten but when you put up 331 yards against the #9 team in the nation, it needs to be talked about somewhere. Crawford did his best against Oklahoma, totaling 331 yards on only 24 carries. In contrast, Samaje Perine, who two years ago ran all over West Virginia in Morgantown, only gained 160 yards this year and it took 31 carries for him. Crawford doubled Perine’s total in less carries.

Normally a performance like this would garner all sorts of accolades and awards but it feels empty. West Virginia lost by 28, at home, to a ranked opponent in what was dubbed as a Big 12 title fight. It didn’t feel like a title fight, it felt one sided. Most of that isn’t Justin’s fault. When you run over and around a team you’ve done your share, even if you did fumble two plays after gaining 65 yards.

Crawford had one run that went for negative yards. He had eight that went for over 10 yards. Thanks to some big runs in the first half, Oklahoma was forced to pay attention to Crawford which helped West Virginia get back into the game for a moment. Down 41-7, West Virginia mounted a comeback, scoring 21 straight point to make it 41-28 and seemed to swing momentum. Unfortunately, Oklahoma showed why they would ultimately become the first 9-0 Big 12 Champion. The Sooners answered the 21-point run by West Virginia with a 15 point run of their own.

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