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West Virginia runs into the Oklahoma buzzsaw in Norman, falls 52-14

That went about like everyone with realistic expectations thought it would. On to the next one.

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In a vacuum, West Virginia’s 52-14 loss to the No. 5 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in Norman on Saturday afternoon looks pretty terrible. The Mountaineers’ eighth straight loss to the Big 12 mega-power also marked the largest margin of defeat. In any other season, this would be a disaster. However, when looking at this game from a big picture point of view, the game went about as anyone with realistic expectations for a team playing 21 freshmen and redshirt freshmen against a championship caliber team.

For the third straight game, the Mountaineers hung in the game through the first half — going into the locker room down 28-14 — before ultimately running out of steam in the second half and allowing the opposing team to roll over them.

Austin Kendall got the start after initially being deemed questionable earlier in the week and, all things considered, had an okay performance for a quarterback working through a pectoral muscle type injury. Kendall finished the day 15-of-31 passing for 182 yards and two touchdowns.

TJ Simmons led West Virginia with six receptions on seven targets for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Sam James started off hot with back-to-back first down receptions to begin the game, but was mostly ineffective for the remainder of the game. James finished with four catches on 10 targets for 29 yards. The West Virginia run game was once again absent, with Leddie Brown leading the way on the ground with 28 yards on 16 carries.

The Mountaineers have an extended break before they take on the currently No. 18 ranked Baylor Bears in Waco on Halloween night. That game kicks off at 8PM ET and will be broadcast on ESPN with former West Virginia kicker Pat McAfee serving on the call as color commentator.