With the season’s first College Football Playoff Rankings released, the Oklahoma Sooners (7-1, 4-1) had a comfortable spot checking in at No. 7 in the country.
This puts them in good position to make another run at a playoff spot, if they can run the table in November. But before the team can think about any playoff, they are focused on this Saturday’s challenge when they travel south to Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-3, 3-2).
The Red Raiders are coming off a difficult 40-31 loss at Iowa State, while the Sooners are riding high off a dominating 51-14 win over Kansas State. All eyes will be on the Sooners defense, who have performed extremely well in the two games since Ruffin McNeil was promoted to interim defensive coordinator, as they face a tough test against the nation’s #3 passing yards team in the country in the Red Raiders, who average 376.8 yards through the air, while scoring a prolific 42.2 points per game.
Texas Tech is led by freshman quarterback Alan Bowman, who has thrown for 2411 yards and 15 TDs on the season. Bowman has also thrown seven interceptions. Their leading rusher is another freshman, Ta’Zhawn Henry, who has ran for 346 yards on 82 attempts, with eight TDs on the year.
The Red Raiders are full with talent at the receiving position, with their most lethal being junior Antoine Wesley, who has accumulated 58 receptions for 977 yards, and seven touchdowns on the season.
The Sooners defense will be looking to continue to improve as they have the past two weeks since Coach McNeil has taken control of it. Head coach Lincoln Riley called the defensive line effort last week against Kansas State “one of the best of the season” in Monday’s press conference.
The Oklahoma offense might be in a shootout, and QB Kyler Murray seems to be the perfect QB for the job, having thrown for 2,329 yards, 28 TDs, and just three interceptions so far, and he will be looking to improve those numbers, and his Heisman Trophy campaign, as well. The offense overall averages 48.9 points per game, while throwing for 311.0 yards per game, and running for 237.3.
This will be the Sooners’ first nationally televised night game of the season, and we can be sure the emotions will be running high for both teams. Oklahoma has won every game in November for the past three seasons, having made the Playoff in two of those seasons.
It will be a tough test for the Sooners, who will be trying to overcome it and begin another November run towards another Big 12 Championship and another College Football Playoff bid.