Oklahoma football: Ranking Sooners 5 best games of 2018, so far

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 01: The Oklahoma Sooners celebrate a 39-27 Big 12 Championship win against the Texas Longhorns at AT&T Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 01: The Oklahoma Sooners celebrate a 39-27 Big 12 Championship win against the Texas Longhorns at AT&T Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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MORGANTOWN, WV – NOVEMBER 23: Caleb Kelly #19 of the Oklahoma Sooners forces Will Grier #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers to fumble the football on November 23, 2018 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV – NOVEMBER 23: Caleb Kelly #19 of the Oklahoma Sooners forces Will Grier #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers to fumble the football on November 23, 2018 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

#2  Nov. 23, Oklahoma 59 at West Virginia 56

All season long, the Nov. 23 date on the Oklahoma schedule, at West Virginia, had been circled as a potential Big 12 Championship preview and perhaps the most pivotal game of the season.

As things turned out, the regular-season finale against West Virginia was still a huge game, but instead of a championship game preview it was a Big 12 title elimination game. The loser would be eliminated, while the winner would advance to face Texas for the conference championship.

Perhaps it was the motivation of an opportunity for a rematch with Texas, not to mention remaining alive for a coveted spot in the College Football Playoff, but whatever it was, the Sooners definitely came to play in this game.

Behind Mr. Consistency, Kyler Murray, the OU offense did what it had done all season long, unleashing a balanced offensive attack and putting up points virtually at will. Oklahoma scored on four of six first-half possessions and eight of 12 for the game, totaling 668 yards of offense, equally divided between passing and rushing yards. It was two plays by the much-maligned Sooner defense, however, that made the difference in the game.

Murray threw for 364 yards and three touchdowns and used his legs for 114 additional yards and another touchdown. But it was a strip sack and fumble recovery that linebacker Caleb Kelly ran in for a first-half touchdown and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by fellow linebacker Curtis Bolton in the fourth quarter that ultimately changed the outcome of the game.

West Virginia outgained the Sooners (704 yards to 668 yards) and ran 25 more offensive plays than Oklahoma, but the Sooner defense came up with the big plays when it needed them most.

As a result, OU was headed back to Texas and a rematch with its hated Red River rival to finish off what it had started three months earlier.