Lately, Texas Tech and Oklahoma have been thorns in each other's keisters. But it hasn’t always been that way.
When the rivalry began in 1992, Gary Gibbs’ third year, the Sooners won the first three meetings, 34-9, 41-10 (1993 John Hancock Bowl) and 17-11 (in 1994).
The teams were aligned into the Big 12 Conference in 1996, and the Red Raiders got their first win, 22-12, in Norman in John Blake’s first year. As horrible as Blake was as a head coach, he did manage to win the next two years over Tech. The 20-17 victory in 1998 was Blake’s last as OU bounced him out on his keister.
Bob Stoops was hired to bring the Sooner program out of darkness in 1999. Tech capitalized on two OU turnovers for 10 points, which was the difference in the Red Raiders’ 38-28 victory that year. Tech scored 25 unanswered points in the second half of what was the final game for Spike Dykes as head Raider.
Mike Leach, who served as OU’s offensive coordinator in 1999, was hired to succeed Dykes. Leach installed his high-octane offense with a dominant aerial game. But, Stoops got the upper hand with five straight victories. After that, the teams have traded victories—OU in the even years and Tech in the odd years.
Leach got his first win in the series in 2005 with a controversial finish that stung most Crimson fans with another thorn. OU took a 21-17 lead with 1:33 remaining. The Raiders then drove 62 yards for a controversial winning touchdown. On fourth-and-three at the OU 26, quarterback Cody Hodges’ pass to Danny Amendola was short of a first down, but the officials marked the ball at the 23 – first down for the Raiders and the replay official did not overturn the decision.
Three plays later, at the OU 5-yard line, Hodges tossed a pass to Joel Filani who juggled the ball and did not have control of it in the end zone. Field officials signaled touchdown, but the replay official overturned the decision and erased the TD.
Two plays later, from the two, running back Taurean Henderson took a handoff and was stopped short of the goal line, but he lunged the ball over the goal line and officials signaled touchdown. The official who was closer to the action did not signal a touchdown. Another official, whose view was blocked by a Tech player, rushed in from the sideline to signal a touchdown. The replay official did not overturn the call, even though Henderson’s hip touched the ground short of the end zone.
In 2006, Chris Brown rushed for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Paul Thompson threw for 309 yards and 2 TDs to lead the Sooners to a 34-24 victory in Norman.
Oklahoma lost the next year in Lubbock, 34-27. Sam Bradford was knocked out of the game early as he tried to tackle a Red Raider following a turnover. Tech quarterback Graham Harrell completed 47 of 72 passes for 420 yards with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions. Joey Halzle relieved Bradford at quarterback and struggled early before trying to rally the Sooners with two fourth quarter touchdowns, the latter coming with 31 seconds remaining.
In 2008, the 10-0 Raiders had risen to their highest ranking ever (No. 2) after knocking off top-ranked Texas three weeks prior to coming to Norman. The sixth-ranked Sooners dominated Tech, 65-21, before a rowdy crowd. Bradford threw for 304 yards and 4 touchdowns, and Demarco Murray and Chris Brown combined for 233 rushing yards and 5 TDs.
The Raiders destroyed OU, 41-13, a year later in Lubbock. The Sooners were decimated with offensive line injuries to begin the season and never fully recovered to post a disappointing season (7-5).
Landry Jones threw for 316 yards and 5 TDs to lead OU to a 45-7 win in 2010. Ryan Broyles caught 8 of his passes for 119 yards and 3 TDs.
Both teams met in Norman for the second straight year in 2011, but the Raiders ended OU’s 39-game home winning streak with a 41-38 victory. A storm with heavy lightning forced the start of the game to be delayed an hour and 45 minutes. Tech quarterback Seth Doege torched OU’s secondary with 3 TD passes en route to a 31-7 lead through the first 32 minutes of action. OU cornerback Jamell Fleming was sidelined with an injury and Doege repeatedly exposed Gabe Lynn, Fleming’s backup.
The third-ranked Sooners fought back to draw within three points with 70 seconds remaining, but failed to grab the onside kick.
Tech will certainly get OU’s attention this week in Lubbock. The Sooners have been unimpressive in their first three games. Tech is 4-0 and leads the nation in defense. If OU knocks Tech from the unbeaten ranks, it will be another thorn in the Raiders’ keisters.