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Three Stars: Oklahoma State at West Virginia

It’s almost time for Bedlam.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Bedlam couldn’t come at a better time for No. 21 Oklahoma State (8-3, 5-3 Big 12).

OSU defense has played their best four-game stretch of the past half-decade as the Cowboys won their fourth straight in an always interesting Morgantown, West Virginia.

This defense is playing at an elite level and have been forcing turnovers like we haven’t seen in quite a while.

Three Stars — The Defense (Again)

With Spencer Sanders out and Dru Brown in for his first start with OSU in a stadium notorious for being rowdy and in less than ideal weather conditions, the defense held strong.

It wasn’t a pretty win. Brown did just fine. He completed over 75 percent of his 29 passes; albeit for an average of 6.8 yards-per-completion. On a day where Chuba Hubbard ran for less than his season yards-per-carry average, the offense struggled to generate chunk plays, which in turn led to a low scoring game.

That’s just fine: Defense is the strength of this year’s Mountaineers. But the offensive struggles in poor weather against one of the better defenses in the league meant the defense had to step up, and boy did they.

Despite the poor weather, neither team turned the ball over. West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Jarret Doege completed 28 of his 38 passes for 307 yards and a touchdown. That doesn’t sound great but the numbers resemble Brown’s in that Doege finished with just 8.1 yards-per-completion.

Where the defense really stepped up was the running game. WVU finished with 22 rushes for 26 yards. Take out Doege’s six carries resulting in negative total yardage and the Mountaineers had 16 carries for 42 yards. On a rainy day where the running game needed to be the strength, the OSU defense stood tall. A big part of that was Amen Ogbongbemiga’s 11 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss.

That streak will come to an abrupt end Saturday, (Baylor Bears needed a miracle first half just to hold Oklahoma Sooners under 35) but this has been quite the run from the OSU defense. If the can turn Jalen Hurts over a few times, OSU should have a punchers chance at a victory.

Two Stars — Dillon Stoner

Stoner was reliable all day with eight catches for 62 yards and a score. Hubbard did a fair amount of his damage in the passing game, catching seven passes for 88 yards.

It was a dink-and-dunk kind of day, and the passing game proved to be the most reliable source of offense. Hubbard is always going to get his carries, finishing with 26. Beyond that, the offense utilized the passing game in a take-what-you-can-get approach. Hubbard had a screen that acted as a 46-yard catch; the next longest passing play went for 16 yards.

Stoner continued to be the top target since the Tylan Wallace injury. Stoner has been reliable every week, and he’s going to need to continue that against OU.

One Star — Dru Brown

The Hawaii graduate transfer stayed ready all season and finally had his chance after Sanders sustained a thumb injury. Brown did exactly what was asked of him, and completed 22 of 29 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. His performance was impressive enough to earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors as well.

Sure they aren’t eye popping numbers, but the 76 percent completion rate and no turnovers stand out a lot in a rainy game on the road in his first start in nearly two years.