🏈 Oklahoma-Texas Tech primer
Everything you need to know as the Sooners welcome the Red Raiders to town
✌🏽 Happy Friday, friends. There’s a football game in Norman tomorrow. Let’s ride.
🤔 Trivia: Oklahoma is 8-0 for the first time since 2004. Which programs did the Sooners face in nonconference play during that season? [Answer in footnote]
🏟 Game day details
Texas Tech (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) at No. 4 Oklahoma (8-0, 5-0 Big 12)
⏰ 2:30 p.m. CT
📺 ABC (Play-by-play: Dave Pasch, Analyst: Dusty Dvoracek, Sideline: Tom Luginbill)
📻 KRXO-FM 107.7 FM in Oklahoma City
💰 Oklahoma -19.5 • O/U: 67
📕 Oklahoma leads all-time series 22-6
📊 Game notes: Oklahoma | Texas Tech
🔑 Keys to victory
Oklahoma is undefeated as it welcomes Texas Tech to Owen Field Saturday, but the mood isn’t so optimistic in Norman.
The Sooners are fresh off of a puzzling performance against Kansas last weekend, where they trailed for most of the game. So, how does OU avoid an upset against Texas Tech? A few keys to victory:
A better showing from OU’s defensive front: Oklahoma defensive tackle Jalen Redmond returns this week after he sustained an injury during the Nebraska game. Perhaps he can unlock OU’s pass rush, because it’s been nonexistent the last few weeks. The Sooners have to get to Texas Tech quarterback Henry Colombi, something it struggled to do against Kansas’ Jason Bean. Otherwise, the Sooners are likely staring at another long day on defense with the Red Raiders boasting much better skill players than Kansas.
Establish Marvin Mims. Oklahoma's offense is undoubtedly a different animal when sophomore receiver Marvin Mims is involved and in rhythm. Mims' most explosive performances this season have come against Tulane, Kansas State, Texas and TCU — all games OU put up 37 points or more. I’m measuring “explosive” by whether or not Mims had at least one reception that went for a minimum of 40 yards, which he did in all four of those outings. In OU’s other three games against FBS competition, Mims didn’t have one game where he had more than 32 receiving yards total. Mims is as close to a game-changing receiver as OU has on its roster, or at least that we know of. Caleb Williams has to take advantage of that.
Playing with a sense of urgency: Extremely simple in theory but it has eluded OU several times this season. The Sooners can’t afford another slow start, because this is a Red Raiders squad that can light up the scoreboard. Texas Tech is very much beatable and you put OU’s 2020 defense out on the field Saturday, this is probably an easy win. This Oklahoma team has regressed from that version of itself and needs to figure out how to get back there quickly, because its current model for success isn’t sustainable.
👤 Red Raiders to know
QB Henry Colombi: The Texas Tech senior has stepped in for Week 1 starter Tyler Shough and thrown for 1,214 yards and four touchdowns. He’s not your traditional Texas Tech gunslinger but has plenty of experience under center in Lubbock.
DE Tyree Wilson: The former Texas A&M defensive lineman has enjoyed a productive season with nine tackles for loss and four sacks in eight games. His pass-rushing ability has shined the last two weeks, stacking a few dominant performances against Kansas and Kansas State leading into this weekend.
WR Erik Ezukanma: The 6-foot-3, 220-pound receiver is one of the best in the Big 12 at his position. He has just one touchdown reception but has 508 yards on 32 catches, good for an average of 15.9 yards a reception.
Oklahoma 45, Texas Tech 31: The Sooners gets a boost from their players back from injury and find some semblance of balance between the offense and defense. Still, the Red Raiders give their best Halloween scare in Norman, falling two-touchdowns short of knocking off the country’s fourth-ranked team.
🎧 Previewing Tech
In case you missed the new podcast episode this week, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal sports editor Carlos Silva Jr. joins the program to talk about the Matt Wells situation, Texas Tech’s trajectory as a program and if the Sooners should be on upset alert.
Where you can subscribe to the Eyes on Oklahoma podcast: Apple Podcasts (We’d appreciate a rating and review!), Spotify, Stitcher, Google and TuneIn
📺 Big 12 viewing guide
A packed Big 12 slate as we enter the final stretch of the season. Here’s how we’re ranking this week’s schedule:
Texas at No. 16 Baylor (11 a.m., ABC): A must-win game for both programs. The Bears can establish themselves as a Big 12 title contender entering November, while the Longhorns are just trying to stay above .500. The Bears are a 3-point home favorite, but I’m picking a Texas upset.
Texas Tech at No. 4 Oklahoma (2:30 p.m., ABC): OU is coming off its season’s most disappointing performance, while Texas Tech just fired its head coach. Plenty of dysfunction to go around, but I’ll take Oklahoma to handle business at home.
No. 22 Iowa State at West Virginia (1 p.m., ESPN+): The Cyclones have a tough follow-up act after a win over Oklahoma State last weekend in Ames. The Mountaineers, who beat TCU last Saturday, enter this game having not won back-to-back FBS games this season.
TCU at Kansas State (2:30 p.m., ESPNU): Probably the most evenly matched Big 12 foes squaring off in Week 9. I just have no clue what’s going to happen.
Kansas at No. 15 Oklahoma State (6 p.m., FS1): I don’t expect Kansas will have the same good fortune against Oklahoma State as it did Oklahoma.
⏰ On this day
Ten years ago today, the Belldozer was born.
The Sooners rocked Kansas State 58-17 after they lost to Texas Tech the week prior. This game marked the first time Blake Bell's signature short-yardage package was implemented by the OU coaching staff in a game.
Data courtesy: soonerstats.com
Bowling Green (9/4), Houston (9/11) and Oregon (9/18)