Oklahoma true freshman running back Samaje Perine got his chance to shine in place of the injured Keith Ford, and boy, did he deliver.
Perine rushed for 242 yards and four touchdowns as the Sooners’ escaped Morgantown with a 45-33 win over West Virginia. He became the first Sooner to rush for 200 yards since DeMarco Murray did it in 2010 and the first to rush for four touchdowns since Blake Bell in 2012.
“We did a good job of hitting the holes,” Perine stated.. “Coach (Bob) Stoops told me that he had confidence that I could get the job done and I just went out there and did my best.”
After a back-and-forth first half, Oklahoma tied the game at 24 when Alex Ross returned a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 1:09 remaining in the first half.
The second half belonged to Perine who was magnificent.
At 5’11 and 243 pounds, Perine used his bruising running style wore down the Mountaineers’ defense. Three of his four touchdowns came in the second half and the floodgates opened for Oklahoma. They outscored West Virginia 21-9, thanks in large part to Perine, and moved to 4-0 on the season.
“They played with more effort than we did in the second half,” Mountaineers’ head coach Dana Holgorsen said. “They made good adjustments at halftime. They made a bunch of plays in the second half when the game was on the line. You’ve got to give them credit.”
West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett outplayed his counterpart Trevor Knight, throwing for 376 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, but most of his damage came in the first half.
Knight started out slow but got better as the game wore on. He completed 16-of-29 passes for 205 yards and one interception. The sophomore even caught a touchdown pass in the second quarter.
The win marks the eighth straight for the Sooners who are looking to win their first national championship since 2000.
*Section Photo credit to Andrew Weber, USA Today Sports; Featured Photo (above) credit to Justin K. Aller, Getty Images