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As OSU Preps for WVU, a Brief Recap of the History of the Series

Recent history suggests this’ll be a close one.



If history can tell us one thing about Saturday’s Big 12 opener for Oklahoma State against West Virginia, it’s that it should be a close one. In 11 games between the two programs dating all the way back to 1928 (!), six have been decided by single digits, three have been decided by four or fewer points and eight have been kept within two touchdowns either way.

Buckle up!

Here’s a look at the series history between the two teams.

The Mountaineering 20s

West Virginia and OSU first met in 1928 and subsequently in 1929 in a home-and-home arrangement that started at West Virginia’s place and finished in Stillwater.

In 1928, it made a bad season for the Pokes even worse. They traveled to Morgantown with a 1-4 record and returned 1-5, losing 32-6. OSU finished 1-7 on the season and ultimately made a coaching change from John Maulbetsch, who had just two losing seasons at OSU in seven years.

In 1929 under a different coach, Pappy Waldorf, the result was the same: a loss. But it was a closer loss, at least. The Pokes lost at home 9-6, and finished Waldorf’s first season with a 4-3-2 record.

1987 Sun Bowl

After nearly 60 years between games, the Pokes and Mountaineers met again in 1987 in a Sun Bowl showdown. Under then-head coach Pat Jones, OSU won 35-33 to cap a 10-win season led by Thurman Thomas and young quarterback Mike Gundy. Gundy finished the game with 161 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions (including a pick-six). Thomas rushed for 157 yards and scored four touchdowns, setting a record for most rushing attempts, most points and most touchdowns in a Sun Bowl.

Big 12 foes

Oklahoma State has won six of the last eight matchups between the two since they became Big 12 foes in 2012 and brings a five-game winning streak over the ‘Eers into Sunday. The two West Virginia wins in that span came in consecutive years, in 2013 and 2014. Most OSU fans have not forgiven West Virginia for 2013. (By most OSU fans, I mean me. I’m 100% still bitter about that baffling day in Morgantown, where OSU lost 30-21.)

Series nuggets

• OSU’s wins over West Virginia as Big 12 foes have come, on average, by 11.2 points. West Virginia’s wins over OSU as Big 12 foes have come, on average, by 11.5 points.

• The last five meetings between the two teams have been decided by an average of 9.2 points.

• The largest margin of victory for OSU in the history of the series came in 2012, when OSU won 55-34. Clint Chelf passed for 292 yards and four touchdowns (to one INT), and Josh Stewart had a cool 13 receptions for 172 yards receiving. Joe Randle led the way on the ground with 21 rushing attempts for 74 yards. Remember West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey? He went off that day, with 225 yards receiving and 14 (!) receptions. Tavon Austin had 11 receptions for 79 yards.

• West Virginia’s most lopsided victory of the series came in 1928 when it won 32-6 over a hapless OSU team that won one game all season. Statistically OSU owned the worst offense in college football that season, averaging only 3.1 points per game and only once — against an opponent named “Regis” — scoring in double figures all season. In five of OSU’s eight games that year the offense failed to score a single point, and the team ranked 100th (out of 100 teams in college football) in total points scored per game, according to Sports Reference.

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