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Oklahoma football: What the Sooners' win over West Virginia means for the remainder of the season

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Rodney Anderson with the carry

Sophomore running back Rodney Anderson looks for a hole in the West Virginia defense during the first quarter of the game Nov. 25.

No. 4 Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) defeated West Virginia (7-5, 5-4 Big 12) 59-31 on Saturday. 

Saturday’s game would have no implications in the Big 12, but with Oklahoma looking to keep its spot in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings, it would need to have a big win ahead of the Big 12 Championship game next Saturday, Dec. 2, against TCU.

Though West Virginia was without junior quarterback Will Grier, the Oklahoma defense got off to a good start, holding the Mountaineers to 10 points in the first half.

With a rematch against No. 6 TCU taking place next week, the defense will need to once again contain a TCU offense that averages 422 yards per game. When the Sooners last faced the Horned Frogs in Week 10, TCU had 424 total yards in its 38-20 loss. 

On offense, the Sooners have seen little struggle, especially since the emergence of sophomore running back Rodney Anderson. In Saturday’s game, Anderson rushed for 118 yards and four touchdowns. Oklahoma will likely rely on Anderson to establish the run game next week, where Anderson previously had success rushing for 151 yards and two touchdowns against the Horned Frogs.

Oklahoma will also rely on the play of senior quarterback Baker Mayfield. After an inappropriate gesture toward the Kansas bench last week, Mayfield did not start, but was put in on the Sooners’ second drive of the game.

Mayfield got off to a quick start, continuing his streak of passing touchdowns for the 38th consecutive game. The clear frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, Mayfield continued impressive play, passing for 281 yards and three touchdowns. With the hype around other Heisman candidates dwindling down, Mayfield will likely find himself in New York City on Saturday, Dec. 9, when the winner is announced. 

If Oklahoma is successful in beating out TCU, it will likely find itself in the top four of the College Football Playoff final rankings. 

Oklahoma will kick off against TCU at 11:30 a.m. CT next Saturday, Dec. 2, in the Big 12 Championship game. 

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