NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — At a school famous for elite quarterback play, Dillon Gabriel put on a show that surpassed all the greats.
He accounted for a school-record eight touchdowns to help No. 17 Oklahoma roll past West Virginia 59-20 on Saturday night.
Gabriel passed for 423 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 50 yards and three scores. He broke the previous Oklahoma single-game touchdown record of seven set by Baker Mayfield in 2016 and matched by Kyler Murray in 2018.
Gabriel, as usual, focused on his teammates and talked as much about Oklahoma’s intensity as the numbers. Still, he was honored to set the record, considering who had held it. Mayfield and Murray both eventually won Heisman Trophies — Mayfield in 2017 and Murray in 2018. Gabriel often sees the statues of them across from the stadium.
“It’s the standard here, and I’m blessed to be a part of it,” he said. “Every day you walk by the Heisman Park and you see those guys. So for me, it’s just chasing the standard of being a part of something greater than myself.”
Gabriel’s touchdown total matched his jersey number.
“I couldn’t be happier for him,” Oklahoma receiver Drake Stoops said. “Eight goes for eight. It’s just a testament to his hard work and his preparation every week and how he approaches the game. And he’s a tremendous leader and tremendous quarterback.”
Gabriel also cracked the top 10 in NCAA Division I history for career yards passing. He now sits in 10th place with 14,274 yards.
Stoops had career highs of 164 yards and three touchdowns receiving, Gavin Sawchuk had a career-best 135 yards rushing and Nic Anderson added four catches for 119 yards for Oklahoma (8-2, 5-2 Big 12, No. 17 CFP), which bounced back from a loss to rival Oklahoma State the previous Saturday.
“I think we came to work with the right mindset and fixed things we need to fix and played really well and executed in crucial moments,” Stoops said. “And we didn’t hurt ourselves like we had in the past games. It just felt great to be able to execute again and have some success. And it’s fun to ball with your brothers.”
West Virginia’s CJ Donaldson ran for 79 yards and a touchdown before going down with a left leg injury in the third quarter. Devin Carter added three catches for 67 yards and a score for the Mountaineers (6-4, 4-3).
This was a critical game for positioning in race to qualify for the Big 12 championship game. Both teams entered the day a game behind conference co-leaders Oklahoma State and Texas. Oklahoma State was blown out at UCF earlier Saturday, adding to this game’s significance.
Oklahoma outgained West Virginia 644 yards to 330.
“That football, in all three phases, didn’t resemble anything that we put on tape this year,” West Virginia coach Neal Brown said. “And credit Oklahoma. They beat us soundly. Brent (Venables) had those guys ready to go after the two losses and the home crowd was into it.”
Gabriel ran for a pair of 2-yard touchdowns in the first quarter to help the Sooners take a 14-7 lead. He threw touchdown passes of 3 yards to Austin Stogner and 32 yards to Jayden Gibson in the second quarter to help the Sooners go up 31-7.
West Virginia drove to the Oklahoma 1-yard line late in the second quarter, but the Sooners stopped Donaldson on a shovel pass on fourth and goal.
The Mountaineers got one more possession before halftime. With help from two pass interference penalties, they got into the end zone. Kole Taylor’s 3-yard touchdown catch from Garrett Greene with 7 seconds left in the first half trimmed Oklahoma’s lead to 31-14 at the break. Oklahoma outgained West Virginia 371 yards to 212 in the first half.
On Oklahoma’s opening possession of the second half, Gabriel connected with Stoops for a 60-yard catch and run for a touchdown to put the Sooners up 38-14. It was the longest reception of Stoops’ career.
Oklahoma maintained control from there.
“We didn’t make enough competitive plays,” Brown said. “They did. And that’s why they kicked our tails.”
Lopsided losses by Oklahoma State and Tennessee, who were both ahead of the Sooners in the latest poll, are among the events that should help the Sooners move up several spots.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers are having a better season than expected, but they weren’t quite ready to step up when the chance to be a championship contender arose. Greene completed just 10 of 27 passes for 154 yards, and he ran for just 24 yards on 10 carries.
Oklahoma: The Sooners appear to have found a clear No. 1 running back. Several players had been splitting carries for much of the season, but Sawchuk has taken the top role by posting back-to-back games with at least 100 yards rushing.
Stoops has posted 22 catches for 298 yards and four touchdowns the past two games. During the week, he was named a Top 10 semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, which goes to the nation’s top player who started his career as a walk-on.
Oklahoma linebacker Danny Stutsman, who missed last week’s game against Oklahoma State with a leg injury, returned and made his mark with a team-leading eight tackles and two tackles for loss.
West Virginia: Hosts Cincinnati on Saturday.
Oklahoma: Visits BYU on Saturday.
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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football