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Oklahoma Sooners

Game Primer: OU at Texas Tech

7 Oklahoma

OklahomaTexas Tech

Texas Tech

Saturday, Nov. 3 / 7 p.m. CT / Jones AT&T Stadium

OPENING KICK

• No. 7 in this year’s initial College Football Playoff rankings, Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) goes for its 19th consecutive true road win when it plays at Texas Tech (5-3, 3-2) on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be televised nationally by ABC with Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Todd McShay announcing.

• Oklahoma owns a 19-6 (.760) all-time record against Texas Tech but has had more modest success against the Red Raiders in Lubbock, where it is 7-4. In the Big 12 era, the Sooners hold a 16-6 advantage (6-4 in Lubbock). OU has won its last three games at Jones AT&T Stadium (41-20 in 2012, 42-30 in 2014 and 66-59 in 2016).

• The Sooners are 7-0 in Lubbock when scoring at least 30 points and are 0-4 there when scoring less than 30 points.

• OU has won each of its last six games against Texas Tech, averaging 49.8 points, 585.2 yards and 305.2 rushing yards per contest during the stretch.

• The Sooners have scored at least 38 points in each of their last eight games against the Red Raiders. It is the second-longest streak against an opponent in school history (OU scored at least 38 points in 11 straight games against Kingfisher College from 1908 through 1919).

• Oklahoma and Texas Tech feature the top two offenses in the Big 12. The Sooners lead the league by averaging 48.9 points and 548.3 yards per game (rank fourth and fourth nationally), while Texas Tech ranks second at 42.2 points and 528.2 yards per contest (10th and seventh nationally).

• Oklahoma has won 29 of its last 31 games (.935) against Big 12 opponents dating back to the 2015 season. Eighteen of those 29 victories have been by at least 15 points, and nine by at least 30 points.

• OU has won 13 straight November games (last loss on Nov. 8, 2014).

• Oklahoma is coming off a 51-14 home win over Kansas State in which it gained a season-high 702 yards and scored on each of its first nine possessions. Kyler Murray, who exited the game for good with 8:20 left in the third quarter and OU ahead 48-7, was 19 for 24 for 352 yards and three touchdowns while running for 46 yards and a score. The Sooners held K-State to 245 yards and to 13 first downs.

• Texas Tech went toe-to-toe with Iowa State in Ames last Saturday before falling 40-31. The score was tied at 31 until the Cyclones registered a safety with 4:39 remaining and then scored on a 48-yard pass play on the ensuing possession. Freshman quarterback Alan Bowman was 32 for 56 passing for 323 yards and a touchdown, and had three interceptions. Tech threw for 323 yards, but managed just 30 rushing yards on 24 carries (1.2 average).

Bolton

FIVE KEY STORYLINES

• Oklahoma’s 18-game true road winning streak is the longest active streak in the country and second longest in school history (OU won 24 in a row from 1953 to 1958). UCF (eight) holds the second-longest current streak, while no other Power Five program has a current streak longer than six games. The Sooners’ last true road loss came more than four full years ago and occurred at TCU (37-33 on Oct. 4, 2014). OU has also won a record 16 straight Big 12 road games, breaking the previous league mark of 13 consecutive league road wins by Texas from 2003 to 2006. Since head coach Lincoln Riley joined the staff as offensive coordinator prior to the 2015 season, the Sooners are 16-0 in true road games (14-0 in true Big 12 road contests).

• In Big 12 play, Oklahoma leads the conference with its 579.2 yards of offense per game, which is 108.6 more yards per outing than the team with the second-best average (Texas Tech; 470.6). Making OU’s offensive performance more impressive is the fact the Sooners have already faced three of the league’s top four teams in total defense on the season (1. Iowa State 349.6; 2. TCU 352.2; 4. Texas 390.2). OU ranks first in conference play with 338.4 passing yards per game while Texas Tech ranks second at 333.6. However, the Sooners own a passing efficiency rating of 229.4 to Tech’s 131.3 (the Red Raiders have thrown 10 interceptions to OU’s one).

• Oklahoma ranks 127th out of 130 FBS teams with just 61.5 offensive plays per game, but it ranks fourth nationally with its 548.3 yards per contest. That’s because the Sooners lead the nation with a staggering 8.9 yards per play, a figure that would shatter the FBS single-season record of 8.6 by Hawaii in 2006. The OU single-season record of 8.3 yards per play was set last year, and the program’s second-best figure is 7.6 in 1971. Alabama ranks second this year with its 8.3 yards per play, while Memphis and Mississippi are tied for third at 7.7. OU also leads the nation by gaining at least 10 yards on 31.9 percent of its plays (157 of 492). Alabama ranks second at 29.6 percent.

• Despite losing preseason All-Big 12 running back Rodney Anderson for the season due to an injury against UCLA in the second game of the year, Oklahoma leads the Big 12 and ranks 13th nationally with its 236.1 rushing yards per game (Oklahoma State ranks second in the league at 198.6). More impressively, OU ranks second nationally with its 6.6 yards per rush, which is almost two full yards more than the No. 2 team in the category (OSU averages 4.8).

• In the last two games, OU held TCU to 275 yards and Kansas State to 245. The last time the Sooners held consecutive conference opponents to 275 yards or less was in 2011 (259 vs. Texas and 252 at Kansas). OU has allowed scores on just two of the last 16 opponent possessions (13 percent).

BACK TO THE OLD STOMPING GROUND

• Texas Tech is the alma mater of OU head coach Lincoln Riley. A walk-on quarterback for the Red Raiders during the spring and summer of 2003, Riley spent seven years (2003-09) on former head coach Mike Leach’s TTU staff in the roles of student assistant/offense (2003-05), offensive assistant (2006), wide receivers coach (2007) and inside receivers coach (2008-09). He also served as Tech’s interim offensive coordinator and play-caller for the 2010 Alamo Bowl, a 41-31 victory over Michigan State.

• OU assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill (2000-09), co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh (2000-06), outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons (2000-09) and director of sports performance for football Bennie Wylie (2003-09) also worked at Texas Tech while Riley was on staff. McNeill served as interim head coach for the 2010 Alamo Bowl win.

LAST YEAR VS. THE RED RAIDERS

• Baker Mayfield threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as the 10th-ranked Sooners surpassed the 600-yard mark of total offense (617) for the fifth time of the season in a 49-27 home win over Texas Tech on Oct. 28, 2017. The senior was 22 for 34 passing for 281 yards while also rushing for 20 yards.

• The Red Raiders entered the game allowing just 135 rushing yards per contest, but OU racked up 336 on the ground. In his first career start, sophomore running back Rodney Anderson ran for a then-career-high 181 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries (7.5 average).

• Freshman CeeDee Lamb set school single-game freshman records with nine receptions and 147 receiving yards. He also tied the OU single-game freshman mark with two touchdown catches.

• After giving up 20 points and 211 yards in the first quarter (10.0 per play), OU gave up seven points and 226 yards the rest of the game (4.6 per play). Texas Tech managed just one score on its final nine possessions (six punts, one interception, one turnover on downs). Caleb Kelly recorded his first-career interception.

LAST TIME IN LUBBOCK 

• In one of the wildest games in Oklahoma history, the Sooners and Texas Tech combined for an NCAA-record 1,708 yards (854 each), but it was OU that emerged with a 66-59 road win on Oct. 22, 2016.

• Playing for the first time at his former school, Baker Mayfield turned in his best career game, finishing with a career-high 545 passing yards (nine shy of the school record) and an OU-record seven passing TDs (without an interception). His 564 yards of total offense were eight shy of his own program record.

• Running back Joe Mixon finished with 377 all-purpose yards, the most by an FBS player on the year, the second most in OU history and the fourth most in Big 12 annals. Mixon, who scored five TDs, registered a career-high 263 rushing yards and 114 receiving yards. He became just the second FBS player since 1996 to record at least three receiving TDs and two rushing TDs, and he became the first player in OU history to log 200 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in a game.

• Eventual Biletnikoff Award winner Dede Westbrook logged a 202-yard, two-TD performance. The 202 yards were the sixth-most in school history at the time.

• OU became the first team in FBS history to feature a 500-yard passer (Mayfield, 545), a 200-yard rusher (Mixon, 263) and a 200-yard receiver (Westbrook, 202) in one game.

• The Sooners’ 854 yards of total offense were the second most in school history and just 21 shy of the program record of 875 (1980 vs. Colorado).

• Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes set the FBS record for total offense (819 yards) and tied the mark for passing yards (734). The teams’ 1,279 combined passing yards also established an FBS record.

Joe Mixon

ROAD WARRIORS

• By the time Saturday arrives, the Sooners’ last true road loss will have occurred 1,491 days ago. The last time OU lost a true road game was Oct. 4, 2014, when No. 4 OU dropped a 37-33 decision at No. 25 TCU. Eleven AP Top 25 teams lost that week, including four of the top six.

• Since 1980, OU’s 18-game true road winning streak is tied for the third longest nationally, with only Miami (Fla.) (1984-88) and Ohio State (2012-16) holding longer streaks at 20 wins.

• During the 18-game streak, the Sooners have outscored opponents 873-490 (49-27 average) and have outgained them 10,322 yards to 7,360 (573-409 average). OU has scored at least 31 points in all 18 games and at least 41 points in 14 of them. Seven of the wins have come against top-25 teams.

• The Sooners have outgained their opponent in 17 of the 18 road wins. West Virginia in 2016 is the only home team to outgain OU during the stretch (579-485), but was still doubled up on the scoreboard (56-28).

• Thirteen of the 18 victories have been by double digits, seven by at least 25 points and five by at least 35 points.

KYLER FOR HEISMAN

• Through eight games, quarterback Kyler Murray ranks second nationally in completion percentage (.732), passing efficiency rating (227.3), yards per pass attempt (12.7), yards per completion (17.4) and points responsible for per game (25.5), third in passing touchdowns per game (3.5) and sixth in total offense per game (350.4 yards; didn’t play in second half vs. Florida Atlantic or final 23:20 vs. Kansas State; OU only ran 40 plays vs. Army). He is the only player in the country averaging at least 250.0 passing yards (291.1) and at least 50.0 rushing yards (59.2) per game.

• Murray has thrown at least two touchdown passes in every game this year, and at least three in each of the last seven outings. He has 17 TD passes over the last four games.

• In Big 12 play, Murray owns healthy statistical leads in total offense at 392.0 yards per game (next most is 301.2 by Oklahoma State’s Taylor Cornelius), passing yards at 331.6 per contest (next most is 312.8 by Texas Tech’s Alan Bowman) and passing efficiency rating with his 240.5 mark (next best is 173.4 by West Virginia’s Will Grier).

• A 5-10, 195-pounder from Allen, Texas, Murray is looking to become OU’s fourth Heisman Trophy finalist in the last three years (Baker Mayfield in 2016 and ’17 and Dede Westbrook in 2016), and its second straight winner (Mayfield). He has accounted for 34 touchdowns (28 passing, six rushing) and just four turnovers. He ranks second the team with 474 rushing yards (6.7 per carry) and is tied for the lead with six rushing TDs.

• Through eight games, Murray has been considerably more efficient as a passer this season than Mayfield was the last two seasons when he twice set the FBS record in the category. Murray’s 227.3 rating is 28 points better than Mayfield’s existing record of 198.9 set last year, and 31 points better than Mayfield’s 2016 mark of 196.4.

• Murray has won four Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors, tying OU’s single-season record set by Baker Mayfield last year.

HOORAY FOR “HOLLYWOOD”

• Marquise Brown, who hails from Hollywood, Fla., was one of the country’s most explosive receivers last year, and 2018 is no different. Brown ranks 18th nationally in receiving yards per game (92.3) this season, and among players averaging at least 5.0 receptions per game he ranks second nationally with his 18.5 yards per catch. Hobbled in the first half of the TCU game two weeks ago, he did not start this past Saturday against Kansas State.

• Brown ranks first nationally this season with his seven catches of at least 40 yards, his five receptions of at least 50 yards, his three grabs of at least 60 yards and his two catches of at least 70 yards. His long receiving plays this season have gone for 77 yards (TD), 75 yards (TD), 65 yards (TD), 58 yards (TD), 50 yards (TD), 48 yards and 40 yards (TD).

• Since the start of the 2017 season, Brown leads the nation with his 12 catches of at least 50 yards. The next highest total among active players is eight. The 12 grabs for Brown have gone for 87, 84, 77, 77, 75, 66, 65, 58, 56, 52, 50 and 50 yards. Nine of those 12 receptions have resulted in a TD.

SILENCED BY THE LAMB

• While Marquise Brown has turned heads with his home-run-play ability, sophomore CeeDee Lamb has quietly put together one of the best two-year starts to a career by an OU receiver. The 6-2, 189-pounder from Richmond, Texas, has started 20 of his 22 games and has amassed 80 receptions for 1,482 yards (18.5 average) and 16 touchdowns.

• A freshman All-American by ESPN last year when he caught 46 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 contests (13 starts), Lamb is on pace to demolish those numbers this season, or already has. Through eight games, he has 34 catches for 674 yards and a team-high nine TDs. He has five career 100-yard receiving games, including three this year. He has at least one TD catch in each of the last seven games.

• Lamb is tied for second in OU history with his 16 receiving touchdowns in the first 22 games of a career (Ryan Broyles had 17).

CeeDee Lamb

1-2 LINEBACKING PUNCH

• No duo in the Big 12 averages more tackles per game than Oklahoma sophomore Kenneth Murray and redshirt senior Curtis Bolton. Both linebackers, Murray ranks second in the Big 12 (11th nationally) with his 11.5 tackles per outing, while Bolton ranks third (15th nationally) with 11.0.

• Over the last five games, Murray has an astounding 73 tackles (14.6 average) while Bolton has 66 (13.2).

• Murray has 92 tackles on the year, which is 14 more than his total last season (78) when he started all 14 games, earned freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America and USA Today, and was co-Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. What makes Murray’s 2018 tackle total even more impressive is the fact that he registered zero stops in the season opener against Florida Atlantic. Over the last seven games, he is averaging 13.1 tackles. Included was a 28-tackle effort against Army which, the most by an FBS player since at least 2000 (when the NCAA began tracking the record).

• Amazingly, Bolton’s 88 tackles are 72 more than he had in his career (16) entering the year. Playing primarily on special teams and battling injuries prior to this season, his eight career starts have all come in 2018.

HERE’S THE KICKER

• Senior kicker/punter Austin Seibert ranks second in OU career scoring with 439 points and needs 11 points to tie kicker Michael Hunnicutt (2011-14) for the school record of 450. He is in fourth place in all-time Big 12 scoring and needs nine points to tie Hunnicutt for third place. Seibert needs 12 points to tie the Big 12 career scoring record of 451, held by Baylor’s Aaron Jones (2010-13) and TCU’s Jaden Oberkrom (2012-15).

• In Saturday’s win vs. Kansas State, Seibert was 6 for 6 on PATs, extending his streak of makes to 144 dating back to 2016. Two games ago he broke the school record of 134 straight conversions held by Uwe von Schamann (1976-78).

• With his 439 points, Seibert is tied for ninth in FBS history among kickers. He needs 12 points to move into the top five. The record is 494 points by Arizona State’s Zane Gonzalez (2013-16).

• Seibert is tied for the Big 12 and NCAA career lead in extra points made (274) and attempted (278). He shares the records with Baylor’s Jones. He is 51 for 51 on PATs this season after going 81 for 81 last year. His streak of 144 makes going back to 2016 is the third longest in the nation and an OU school record.

• For the third straight season, Seibert is handling OU’s placekicking, punting and kickoff duties. He is one of just three players nationally this season to lead his team in each (San Jose State’s Bryce Crawford and Rice’s Jack Fox).

• Seibert also ranks second at OU in career field goals made (55) and PAT percentage (.986; 274-278), fourth in career field goal percentage (.775; 55-71) and fifth in career punting average (41.9).

• Fifty-four of his 63 kickoffs this season have resulted in touchbacks (his 85.7 percent rate is fifth best in the country). He had a streak of 32 touchbacks snapped at TCU two games ago following a 15-yard post-TD celebration penalty that was enforced on the kickoff (he still kicked the ball to the 1-yard line).

Seibert

OFFENSE HAS ROLLED UNDER RILEY

• Oklahoma owns the nation’s most productive offense since the start of the 2015 season, which was Lincoln Riley’s first year as OU’s offensive coordinator. Riley called plays as the program’s offensive coordinator and continues to as head coach.

• Since the start of the 2015 season, OU ranks first nationally in points per game (45.0), total offense (554.3), touchdowns from scrimmage (274; next most is 247), passing efficiency rating (191.8; next best is 160.0), completion percentage (69.8), and yards per pass attempt (10.7), and is sixth in passing offense (326.9) and 14th in rushing offense (227.3).

• In 48 games since the start of the 2015 season, OU has registered at least 500 yards of total offense 35 times, including in 25 of the last 32 outings, topped the 600-yard mark on 17 occasions and gone over 700 yards five times. Similarly, OU has scored at least 30 points in 42 of 48 games since Riley’s arrival, at least 40 points 32 times, at least 50 points 19 times and at least 60 points seven times.

• The Sooners have registered at least 700 yards of offense 11 times in their history, and five of those occasions have come since the start of the 2015 season: 854 at Texas Tech in 2016; 785 at Oklahoma State in 2017; 773 vs. Tulsa in 2015; 710 at Kansas in 2015; 702 vs. Kansas State in 2018.

EXTRA POINTS

• Texas Tech has run 205 more plays than Oklahoma on the season (697-492), but the Sooners have gained 160 more yards (4,386-4,226).

• The Sooners are averaging 0.78 points per offensive play this season. Going back to 1996, the highest end-of-season figure was 0.69 by Florida State in 2013. OU’s number in the first half of games this season is 0.82.

• Forty-one of Oklahoma’s 50 offensive touchdown drives (82 percent) have taken less than three minutes of game clock. That excludes the overtime TD drive vs. Army that took two plays.

• OU opponents have run 586 plays this season to the Sooners’ 492. That’s an average of 11.8 more per game. Despite that, OU has outgained its foes by 1,339 yards on the year (8.9 yards per play to 5.2).

• In the last two games, OU held TCU to 275 yards and Kansas State to 245. The last time the Sooners held consecutive conference opponents to 275 yards or less was in 2011 (259 vs. Texas; 252 at Kansas).

• In Big 12 play, the Sooners rank second in rushing defense (118.0 yards per game) and second in yards per carry allowed (3.5). On the season, OU is tied for third in the league in yards per play allowed (5.2).

• Kennedy Brooks, who has 454 yards on 38 rushes this year, is averaging 11.9 yards per carry. The OU single-season yards-per-carry record among players with at least 400 rushing yards is 9.5 by Leon “Mule Train” Heath in 1949.

• Redshirt junior receiver Lee Morris has 14 career catches and eight have gone for touchdowns. Six of his 12 receptions this year, including three of the last five, have resulted in a score.

• OU has scored at least 50 points 19 times since the start of the 2015 season, most in the nation.

• Oklahoma has scored at least 30 points in 30 of its last 32 games (29 and 28 in the other two). It has won 29 of those 32 contests. OU’s 29-3 record since Oct. 1, 2016, is the nation’s third best (Alabama is 30-2 and Clemson 30-3).

• OU committed just 13 turnovers last year (six interceptions and seven fumbles lost), or less than one per game. That marked the second-lowest total in school history (11 in 2008). The Sooners have six total turnovers in eight games this season. Their 19 turnovers since the start of the 2017 campaign are tied for fifth fewest nationally.

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