Can a win feel like a loss? Can a horrible defensive showing overshadow moments of offensive genius? Saturday night in Lubbock put both questions to the test.
OU has to regroup defensively the next two weeks to get ready for Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. It would be a shame to waste the great seasons of Dede Westbrook, Joe Mixon, Samaje Perine and Baker Mayfield.
Mixon’s night in Lubbock
Joe Mixon did something no Sooner has ever done before: 200 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving.
Mixon catches deep passes like a receiver and has the moves of a smaller RB. His one-handed catch-and-run along the sideline for a touchdown was incredible. His best run of the night was actually called back.
OU's quarterback was uber efficient against Tech. Save for one mistake on the sidelines, he was cool and collected. He could have easily pressed. Instead, he posted absurd efficiency numbers and carved up the admittedly terrible Texas Tech secondary.
Play after play in the fourth quarter, Mayfield marched the offense down the field to match scores with Texas Tech.
Another game with 200 receiving yards. Is it possible Westbrook is outplaying the standard set by Sterling Shepard last year?
With 930 receiving yards and five games left, Ryan Broyles' single-season record of 1,622 is in real jeopardy. With the way Westbrook’s playing right now, he might have 1,500 yards before the Baylor game.
The Very Good
The OL did a fantastic job blocking for Mixon and protecting Mayfield. In particular, Ben Powers is excelling with more playing time. Keep Orlando Brown from making a terrible decision to leave early, and OU could have a fantastic unit in 2017.
The rest of the receivers, including Dmitri Flowers
While Westbrook and Mixon were making big plays, the rest of the receiving corps were pitching in with critical plays and big catches. Nick Basquine had a great game, but there were key contributions from everyone.
The At Least They were Trying
The defensive line and blitzing linebackers pursued and harassed Mahomes as much as possible. Some missed tackles led to some big plays, but Mahomes was often under pressure on first and second down, leading to third-and-long situations (which the Red Raiders converted time after time).
He hadn't played all year, but Lampkin's initial contributions and make you wonder how much more he might have helped if not for his suspension.
Props to defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux for working with Lampkin and keeping him engaged, and props to Lampkin for rallying from whatever led to his six-game absence.
Defensive game plan and its execution
At times, the back seven seemed disinterested. OU put Tech in numerous long scenarios on third down, and the D could not get the Red Raiders off the field.
The body language and attitude of the defense just sucks.
The losses to Houston and Ohio State seemed OK at the time, when both of teams were playing great ball. Houston has since lost twice, including a dumpster fire blowout loss to SMU. After looking like a juggernaut in Norman, Ohio St. has now gone to overtime with offensively limited Wisconsin and lost to an average Penn State team. The Buckeyes barely scored 24 points in regulation in either game.