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An Epic Christmas Day defines Oklahoma State’s series with West Virginia

Points and personalities define this matchup.

While Winsipedia is a bit light on this series with only nine games historically between the two programs, it does include one rather historic contest involving a number of historically important people in college football.

Mike Gundy…Thurman Thomas…Hart Lee Dykes…Barry Sanders…Don Nehlen…Major Harris

Recap from the New York Times. Of note…Gundy had some interception problems, tossing up a pick 6 in the process.

Recap from the Sun Bowl website, with this interesting tidbit:

“A crowd of 43,240 braved the snow, the third and last time snow ever fell during a Sun Bowl game, on Christmas day in 1987…”

West Virginia completed just 7 passes on 21 attempts but logged 331 yards on the ground. Wind was definitely a factor in the game.

In this interview from 2012, Gundy had some interesting takes on the game. That same West Virginia team went undefeated and played Notre Dame for a national title in 1988.

As for the series, OSU holds a 5-4 advantage courtesy of its current three game winning streak (oh no, here we go with streaks again…).

The two teams first played in 1928 when West Virginia’s coach was “Rat” Rogers. “Pappy” Waldorf was OSU’s coach for the 1929 meeting. Sign me up for all of the “Rat” Rogers vs “Pappy” Waldorf meetings. The Cowboys dropped both games, and the programs would not meet again until the 1987 Sun Bowl.

After that the Cowboys and Mountaineers would meet back up when West Virginia joined the Big 12 conference (along with TCU) following several key departures. Ironically the Mountaineers would show up in Stillwater for their first game against OSU as conference opponents led by Head Coach Dana Holgorsen, who had been the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator in 2010. Since then OSU enjoys a 4-2 record.

During Big 12 play these teams have only competed in one game decided by eight or fewer points (2015, 33-26 OSU win in Morgantown) and only one game with less than 51 combined points (2014, 24-10 WV in Stillwater). With only nine total games, here’s the entire list courtesy of Winsipedia:

OSU’s Football Series with West Virginia

Date Location WVU OKST
Date Location WVU OKST
10/28/2017 Morgantown, WV 39 50
10/29/2016 Stillwater, OK 20 37
10/10/2015 Morgantown, WV 26 33
10/25/2014 Stillwater, OK 24 10
9/28/2013 Morgantown, WV 30 21
11/10/2012 Stillwater, OK 34 55
12/25/1987 El Paso, TX (Sun Bowl) 33 35
10/26/1929 Stillwater, OK 9 6
11/10/1928 Morgantown, WV 32 6

With the exception of 1929, all West Virginia wins have been by 9+ points, although the Mountaineers only real blowout came in the first meeting in 1928. Here’s your weird series stat of the day…

West Virginia has never won a game against Oklahoma State when the Mountaineers scored MORE than 32 points.

They have scored 33 or more points three times, all losses

· 1987 Sun Bowl…35-33

· 2012…55-34

· 2017…50-39

In fact, West Virginia has never scored 40 or more points against the Cowboys (another streak…ugh).

The lowest combined point total in any OSU win is 57 (2016, 37-20 in Stillwater), and Oklahoma State has never scored less than 33 points in a win, topping 50 twice.

I suppose this means we need to root for a high scoring shootout?

Chances are the game will not be all that close. Of the six meetings as Big 12 foes, only one has been a one possession game and the average margin of victory is almost two touchdowns (13.2) with two games being three possession wins.

Let’s hope OSU protects home field and sends the seniors off with one final home blowout.