MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — West Virginia knew what was coming.
The Mountaineers expected Oklahoma State backup quarterback J.W. Walsh to run the ball on fourth-and-goal from the 2. They just couldn't keep him from scoring.
And when they couldn't answer on their overtime possession, the Mountaineers lost to the 21st-ranked Cowboys 33-26 on Saturday night.
"We knew Walsh was going to run the ball," said West Virginia nose tackle Kyle Rose. "They had the perfect play call. They executed better than we did."
West Virginia (3-2, 0-2 Big 12) has lost back-to-back games to ranked teams and now goes on the road to face No. 3 Baylor and No. 2 TCU.
"We are not capable of playing four quarters right now," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. "And you can't win in the Big 12 if you can't play four straight quarters."
It marked the third straight close finish for the Cowboys (6-0, 3-0 Big 12), who won their two previous conference games on last-minute field goals.
"If you're going to an Oklahoma State game, you don't turn it off all the way until the final buzzer goes off," Gundy said.
Skyler Howard brought West Virginia from 15 points down with a 3-yard scoring run with 2:44 left to send the game into overtime tied at 26.
Oklahoma State's running game was ineffective in regulation. But Gundy said he changed his blocking scheme in overtime. Five straight rushes moved the ball to the 2, and Walsh, who had entered the series on the fourth play, took it in from there.
"It was exactly how we drew it up," Walsh said. "We've practiced that play and repped it all week. It just worked."
West Virginia advanced to the 4 on its overtime possession, but Howard threw incomplete in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 11 to end it.
Oklahoma State forced four turnovers, scoring 17 points off them, and won despite being outgained 443-362.
Mason Rudolph won his eighth straight game as a starter, but wasn't sharp. He threw three interceptions and had no touchdowns one week after passing for 437 yards and three scores against Kansas State.
Rudolph needed an assist from Walsh, who was brought in whenever Oklahoma State got within scoring range.
Rudolph's 40-yard scramble set up Walsh's 4-yard scoring toss on third-and-goal to tight end Blake Jarwin to extend Oklahoma State's lead to 23-9 early in the third quarter.
Howard finished 18 of 35 for 188 yards but had his solid moments. He had a 48-yard scoring toss to Shelton Gibson in the third quarter and his 15-yard run on third down kept alive a drive that led to a field goal early in the fourth to trim the deficit to 23-19.
After Devante Averette's interception set up a short field goal for Oklahoma State, Howard rebounded by engineering a 78-yard drive for the tying score.
Howard also fumbled twice and threw an interception in his second-straight lackluster game. A week ago he threw three picks and fumbled twice in a loss at Oklahoma. One of those fumbles was returned for a score.
Wendell Smallwood tied a career high with 147 rushing yards for the Mountaineers.
"We were tired on defense," Gundy said. "They controlled the tempo on offense. But our guys were able to rally at the end, make a play and found a way to win."
Oklahoma State got starting running back Chris Carson and backup Rennie Childs back from injuries that kept them out of last week's game. The Cowboys were limited to 134 rushing yards. But Childs came up big in overtime with a pair of 7-yard runs and a 2-yarder that gave Oklahoma State a fresh set of downs inside the 10.
Childs finished with 34 yards and Carson had 21. Rudolph had a team-high 48 yards and completed 20 of 40 passes for 218 yards.