STILLWATER, Okla. -- West Virginia's struggles manifested Saturday in yet another way, as the Mountaineers lost a fourth straight by the score of 55-34 to Oklahoma State with one special teams gaffe after the next.
It had been more than a decade -- 2001 -- since the program last lost four in a row.
The Mountaineers were chasing the Cowboys all day and were plagued by problems on special teams in front of 57,999 at Boone Pickens Stadium.
West Virginia gave up a 96-yard kickoff return, fumbled two punts that led directly to a field goal and a touchdown, and failed to down a punt at the OSU 1-yard line in the fourth quarter, which resulted in a touchback. The Cowboys drove 80 yards to score again.
Seven West Virginia players were standing around the ball as it bounced into the end zone.
The loss dropped West Virginia to 5-4, 2-4 in the Big 12, and Oklahoma State improved to 6-3, 4-2.
The offense moved the chains better than it had been.
Stedman Bailey had 225 receiving yards on 14 catches for his most productive game since hurting his ankle against Texas Tech.
Quarterback Geno Smith completed 36-of-54 passes for 364 yards and two touchdowns.
The defense set up a score with an interception returned to the 1-yard line by Terence Garvin to get the Mountaineers within four points late in the third quarter.
Cowboys quarterback Clint Chelf completed 22-of-31 for 292 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
His top receiver Josh Stewart had 13 receptions for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
First Published November 11, 2012 12:15 AM