- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

No. 23 West Virginia (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) at Oklahoma (3-0, 0-0), Noon (Fox Sports 1)

Line: Oklahoma by 7.

Weries Record: Oklahoma leads 5-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

It’s the Big 12 opener for both teams, and any conference loss to a team other than TCU or Baylor is damaging to conference title hopes. Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield could make a leap forward into the Heisman race with a big game here. He ranks third nationally in total offense per game (400.3) and broke the school record for total yards in a game with 572 in his last outing, against Tulsa.

KEY MATCHUP

Oklahoma receivers vs. West Virginia secondary. Oklahoma’s Sterling Shepard is one of the nation’s best receivers, but Mayfield has shown a willingness to spread the ball around, so West Virginia’s entire defense will need to be alert. The Sooners rank eighth nationally in yards passing per game, while the Mountaineers rank 17th against the pass.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

West Virginia: WR Shelton Gibson. The redshirt sophomore has 12 catches for 329 yards and four touchdowns in three games. That’s 27.4 yards per catch. He’s playing against an Oklahoma secondary Tulsa exploited for 427 yards passing.

Oklahoma: RB Samaje Perine. The bruiser burst onto the scene last year as a freshman against West Virginia, rumbling for 242 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-33 win. He’s coming off a 152-yard effort against Tulsa. West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen says the Mountaineers are better equipped to stop the run this season.

FACTS & FIGURES

West Virginia leads the nation in fewest points allowed (7.7 per game) and turnover margin (+3.0). … The Mountaineers did not allow a point in the first half of wins against Georgia Southern, Liberty and Maryland. … West Virginia had a school-record 37 first downs against Maryland. … Oklahoma gained 773 yards against Tulsa, its highest total since 1988. … Oklahoma won a 50-49 shootout against West Virginia in 2012. The teams combined for 1,440 yards, the most ever in an Oklahoma game. … Oklahoma is 16-4 at home against ranked teams under coach Bob Stoops.

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