Two games ago, WVU led Oklahoma 49-44 after scoring with 2:53 remaining. The Sooners won the game on a fourth-down touchdown pass with 24 seconds left.
So there were the Mountaineers, seven yards from a game-tying score with 4:04 to go.
"It was really just like earlier in the game, when we got the third down and they fake the punt and get the first down," Miller said. "We go out on the field for a new set of downs and make another stop."
They wouldn't need to wait as long this time. The Cyclones gave the ball to Jeff Woody, the 230-pound fullback who'd rambled for 13 yards the last time he carried on the drive. He barreled through the middle, but quickly found safety Darwin Cook.
He'd told himself before the play that the way Woody was positioned in the backfield meant Woody was running an inside zone play. Cook believed he could hit Woody early and knock the ball loose. It popped out and bounced toward the end zone, which would have been WVU's luck, except that it ended up in the path of freshman safety Karl Joseph.
Cook sprinted for the sideline, relieved to be free from hauntings of recent past.
"When it's happened to you so much, you've got to have it in the back of your head," he said. "It's up to you if you want to stop it and say enough is enough and it's not going to happen again."
The fumble was the only turnover of the game, but it allowed WVU to run out the clock and win the game.
"Ultimately, turnovers win games for you," DeForest said. "In the first half, we dropped three interceptions. This could have been a different game altogether, but when an opportunity came, we made sure we capitalized on it."
Richardson ran for 119 yards and became the first WVU opponent to surpass 100 yards this season. Yet Richardson passed for only 162 yards, the fewest an FBS opponent has had against the worst passing defense in the country this season, completed 13 of 31 passes.
WVU clinched bowl eligibility, likely for the Pinstripe Bowl in the Bronx, N.Y., on Dec. 29 against a Big East team or the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 27 against a Pac-12 team.
"They did not do one thing different," DeForest said. "We practiced everything they did and we executed well 75 percent of the time and then, like the past, we gave up some plays that we shouldn't give up based on pure technique. We've got to work on it and we're going to get better.
"The kids we had out there, a lot of them were young guys, but they're going to get better and what a great opportunity now to go to a bowl game and get these kids more reps and more practice time."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.