WVU's Cook: Beating OU Would Mean "Nothing" - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU's Cook: Beating OU Would Mean "Nothing"


Darwin Cook clearly hasn't abandoned the mentality he carried with him all summer. It's the mentality that led him to say in June that he and the West Virginia University football team wanted to "shock the world."

He said at the time that he knew a 7-6 finish in 2012 left fans sprinting away from the bandwagon and other programs no longer viewing his own as a threat, not only for a championship, but even week to week in any given game. He wanted it that way.

When you listen to the senior safety talk ahead of Saturday's trip to Norman, Okla., it is evident that he won't let that mindset drop. He still wants the Sooners and every other team remaining in the season to firmly believe that the Mountaineers' name on the schedule might as well read "Cupcake."

"We're the underdog," Cook said earlier this week. "We're going to lose by 500 points, right? 50? 60? 20? 21?"

The line at the time was Oklahoma by three touchdowns, which seems to be what Cook was referencing. The odds makers aren't impressed by WVU and after having to fight back to beat an FCS opponent, that makes sense.

Cook and the rest of the Mountaineers defense gave up 17 first half points before holding William and Mary to a scoreless second half. His interception of Michael Graham sealed the victory late in the fourth quarter.

"I feel like everything happened for a reason," Cook said of the William and Mary outcome. "The close game was for a reason, the mistakes [were] for a reason. I feel like everything happened just the way it was supposed to happen because we learned from our mistakes and it made us more disciplined just because of that."

On Saturday, he faces a quarterback in Trevor Knight who had just 86 yards through the air with three touchdowns and one interception in Oklahoma's first game. His real threat in that game was on the ground, using the option game to get yards with his feet.

Knight led the Sooners with 103 yards rushing on just 13 carries and it will be WVU's task to maintain rush lane integrity each time he drops back to pass in case he decides to use his feet. Cook's response to the question of how the Mountaineers can slow Knight was very tongue-in-cheek.

"We're going to do our best job to contain him. He's going to run for 150 yards," Cook said, a response met with laughter from the gathered media.

The next time he was asked about Knight, Cook's prediction grew to an even bigger rushing total for the freshman quarterback in Norman.

"I'm an old head. I'm old. He's like a little kid," Cook said of Knight. "He's a good guy, he can throw, he can run, he can do all those things. I guess everybody feels like he's going to go for 250 yards. We'll see on Saturday."

It got to the point where it seemed like the next question about Knight, Cook would claim that the opposing quarterback was poised to run for 350 yards. With each new inquiry, his estimates about how poorly the defense would play grew.

"What, is he going to be like Jameis Winston? What's his name? From Florida State?" Cook asked.

The reference there is to the Seminoles quarterback, who totaled 381 yards of offense with five touchdowns and zero interceptions in his debut, hammering Pitt in the Steel City. He is the same quarterback who beat out WVU's Clint Trickett in Florida State's spring practice.

If Knight puts up those numbers, this game will be very much like last year's offensive showdown – at least from Oklahoma.

With how much he puts down his own team, it's a wonder Cook thinks the Mountaineers have a chance at victory this weekend at all. Who would give them a chance after hearing all the things he has to say about the opposition?

"My momma," said Cook. "My momma gave me a chance. That's all that matters, right?"

In the end, that probably is all that matters. Cook's mother will be in the stands at the game and he says special things can happen when the Cookie Monster's mother travels to an away game.

Then again, beating Oklahoma in week two of the season isn't anything special. Just ask Cook. What will it mean to your team if you take down the Sooners in Norman?

"Nothing. Nothing," Cook said, repeating himself. "That'll just be 2-0. Nothing. Nothing, really. I'm dead serious. Nothing."

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