No. 14 Oklahoma (2-1) at No. 24 Texas Tech (4-0)
Oct. 6, 2:30 p.m. CT
Jones AT&T Stadium (Lubbock, Texas)
Line: OU -5
Series: 20th Meeting; OU leads 13-6
This is a make or break games for the Sooners… A win will be positive and should give them confidence… A loss could indicate a long season of doubts… Tech extended its record to 4-0 last Saturday, with a win over Iowa State, but the first three wins were over Northwestern State, Texas State, and New Mexico… I-State isn’t really a very good team, either… This will be a real test for the Raiders… Tech quarterback Seth Doege is back, and last year he torched OU’s secondary that was without Jamell Fleming, the Sooners’ best defensive back… Doege has completed 105 of 147 passes (71.4%) for 1,189 yards with 15 TDs and 3 INTs this season… He hit 33 of 52 for 441 yards and 4 TDs last year versus the Sooners, mostly on short passes that churned out a lot of yards after the catch… His three main targets (Eric Ward, Jace Amaro and Darrin Moore) this year have combined for 47 receptions for 589 yards and 11 TDs… The Raiders pick up 5.2 yards each time they run the ball… Kenny Williams leads the squad with 49 carries for 321 yards and a TD.
Tech’s defense leads the nation in total yards (167.5 per game) and passing defense (82 yards per game) and ranks 5th nationally in scoring defense (10.8 points per game)… Strong safety Cody Davis leads the team with 23 tackles and had 2 INTs… Defensive end Kerry Hyder will give the Sooner o-line fits as he leads the team with 5 tackles for loss with 3 sacks.
Special teams has been very productive for the Raiders this year… Kicker Ryan Bustin has made all PATs and 6 of 8 field goals with a long of 50 yards… Punter Ryan Erxleben (yes, the son of Texas kicker Russell Erxleben) averages 43 yards per kick… Austin Zouzalik averages 10.8 yards per punt return, and the Raiders average 22.2 yards per kickoff return.
The Sooners have to protect Landry Jones and give him time to throw… He freaks out when a pass rush is on and all future opponents know this… His teammates have said Jones has practiced with intensity… For the Sooners to have hope, the line must be intense on protecting him from the pass rush… If not, it’s a long season for the Sooners… Time to open the running game and feed Damien Williams the ball… Again, it’s up to the big uglies up front to make some lanes for him…
OU’s secondary has performed well but has only one interception (Javon Harris versus Florida A&M)… The Sooners also need to work on forcing more fumbles… They have only one and that was versus UTEP in the opener… Both teams have pretty good punters who might hold the key to determining field position… Tress Way has averaged 42.9 yards per attempt for the Sooners... Way and Erxleben (with his 43-yard average) need to force their opponents into long drives… TheTech offense ranks 5th nationally in third-down conversions, converting 57%, which means controlling the ball and clock… OU’s defense has yielded successful conversion on only 28% of third-down attempts, 14th nationally… The team that succeeds in disrupting the other quarterback will determine the outcome.
*The series is tied 4-4 in games played at Lubbock: Tech owns a three-game win streak over OU in Lubbock.
*Tech has never defeated OU in two straight seasons.
*Bob Stoops has lost back-to-back games only twice in his career—1999 to Notre Dame and Texas and 2003 to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship game and LSU in the Sugar Bowl. He has never lost consecutive conference games.
*OU is 10-3 on October 6th.
*Tech is 5-7 on October 6th.
*Tech went 4-0 to begin the 2011 season then lost seven of the next eight to finish 5-7. The only win in that stretch? Over Oklahoma.