NORMAN, Okla. -- If there was a singular moment from West Virginia's 16-7 loss to No. 16 Oklahoma on Saturday night, it was the play that ended the Mountaineers' night and summed up the many frustrations that preceded it.
On fourth-and-2 with 6:22 remaining at the Oklahoma 49-yard line, quarterback Paul Millard stared into the defense and raised his glance to a play clock that was ticking toward zero faster than he could ready his offense. He signaled for a timeout, entirely unaware the Mountaineers had called all three in the third quarter.
A five-yard penalty for delay of game came before anincomplete pass to tight end Cody Clay. Following the turnover on downs, OU would clinch the game by running more than five minutes off the clock before missing a 35-yard field goal attempt.
"We will continue to get better on all three sides of the ball," Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "We'll learn a lot from this."
There are plenty of miscues to review and Millard's was one of many gaffes before a crowd of 84,692 at Memorial Stadium -- the 88th straight sellout and the 83rd home win in that span for OU. WVU committed four turnovers and committed eight penalties for 66 yards. Two special teams errors led to 10 OU points in the first half on the same day special teams coordinator Joe DeForest was accused of paying players for making plays while he was an assistant at Oklahoma State.
"Those are the two (mistakes) that everyone is going to see, but last week -I guess it would be about the same number this week - but you're looking at about 40 percent of our team that's never played a Big 12 football game," Holgorsen said. "Then couple that with being at Oklahoma in week two and it's tough.
"But we put those guys in position to make plays. They've got to make plays. Those two stand out, but there are a whole lot of things out there we can pinpoint where guys are inexperienced that are going to have to get better."
DeForest did not speak to reporters after the game.
In his second start, Millard was largely ineffective. He completed 21 of 41 passes for 218 yards and lost a fumble on a sack for a second straight game. He was never taken out of the game for backup Clint Trickett.
Holgorsen said he "almost" changed quarterbacks, but was mindful of adjustments WVU made this week to disguise the offense OU Coach Bob Stoops and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops know so well.
"They know all our signals, they know all our route combinations," Holgorsen said. "We had to be smart with that. We had to put guys in the position offensively where we weren't just going against a defense that knew exactly what we were going to do.
"I felt like it was in the best interest of the team to do some specific things and that means the communication on the field had to be spot on. Paul's the best we've got at that. Because Clint is inexperienced in our offense, we didn't feel comfortable doing that, but I thought about it a bunch."
He said the competition to start remains open and allowed for the possibility redshirt freshman Ford Childress could get snaps in practice this week.
The Mountaineers play host to lowly Georgia State (0-2) at noon Saturday at Mountaineer Field.
The offense managed 387 yards and was 3-for-13 on third down. On the game's final play, a first-and-goal from the OU 3 on an untimed down, WVU ran and freshman Wendell Smallwood lost two yards.
OU quarterback Trevor Knight wasn't much better than Millard in his second start -- he was 10-for-20 for 119 yards -- but the Sooners had 78 snaps for 435 yards and ran 57 times for 315 yards. Brennan Clay carried 22 times for 170 yards and Damien Williams had 21 carries for 95 yards.
The Sooners pulled the trigger on a quarterback change and 6-foot-5, 255-pound Blake Bell relieved Knight in the fourth quarter. He ran for 10 yards on his first play and OU converted a first-and-15 two plays later.
The ball would get to the WVU 19, but a loss, a penalty and a dropped pass on a screen set up third-and-16.
Bell ran for 10 yards and the Sooners settled for a 32-yard field goal to go up 16-7 with 10:16 remaining.