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Numbers to know before kickoff at Texas Tech

Oklahoma football is 56-11 since 2000 in what they call championship month, the month of November.

Those 56 November victories include eight wins and three losses during that time span in games against Texas Tech, the team the Sooners will face on Saturday night in Lubbock, Texas.

Continuing that train of thought, Oklahoma has won on its last three trips to play at Texas Tech, but that followed three consecutive road losses there (in 2005, 2007 and 2009). If it is any consolation, this year’s game between these two Big 12 title contenders is being played in an even year. But it is also being played three days after Halloween, so you don’t know if that fun calendar factoid is a trick or a treat.

The Sooners are 19-6 all-time against the Red Raiders, but you can forget about that for the game coming up on Saturday. This is a truly big game for Oklahoma because this Texas Tech team (5-3 overall and 3-2 in the Big 12) is playing at its highest level since Mike Leach (yes, the one in the same Mike Leach that served as the Sooners’ offensive coordinator in Bob Stoops‘ first season at OU) was fired as the head coach of the Red Raiders in 2009.

The Red Raiders have long been known for their quick-strike Air-Raid offense (if you follow the NFL, your are certainly aware of the heroics this season by Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who came from this very system at Texas Tech), but this season the Red Raiders are also playing stout defense, giving up just 25.8 points a game in five conference games, second fewest points allowed in the Big 12.

It’s also interesting to note that Sooner head coach Lincoln Riley began his coaching career at Texas Tech, where he was a walk-on quarterback along with current Red Raider head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Riley is 3-0 against his alma mater (one as a head coach and two as the Sooners’ offensive coordinator), including am epic 66-59 shootout victory on the Sooners’ last trip to Lubbock.

Here are some other numbers to know in advance of Saturday night’s prime-time showdown between the Sooners and Red Raiders:

4 — Oklahoma’s offense ranks fourth in the country, averaging 548.3 yards per game; Texas Tech’s defense ranks 94th among NCAA FBS teams, allowing opponents an average of 423.8 yards of offense per game.

13 — Unlucky or not, Oklahoma has won its last 13 games played in the month of November.

17 of 24 — For all of its defensive struggles this season, since Ruffin McNeill took over as OU’s interim defensive coordinator, the Sooner defense has held their last two opponents scoreless on 17 of the last 24 possessions. This will be seriously tested by Texas Tech.

18 — The Sooners take an 18-game win streak in true road games to Lubbock this weekend. That is the longest active such streak in the country among FBS teams.

29 — OU has won 29 of its last 31 games (.935 win percentage) against Big 12 opponents.

30 — Oklahoma is 7-0 in Lubbock when the Sooners score at least 30 points. Conversely, the Sooners are 0-4 at Texas Tech when held below 30 points.

38 — The Sooners have scored 38 or more points in each of the last eight games against the Red Raiders. That is the second longest streak against any Oklahoma opponent in program history.

50 — OU junior wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown leads the nation with a dozen catches this season of at least 50 yards.

160 — In the last two games, the Oklahoma defense has given up  an average of 160 fewer yards per game than it did in the first six games of the 2018 season.

2012 — The last time Texas Tech defeated a team ranked in the top-10 nationally.

Statistical information contained in this article was obtained from the 2018 Oklahoma Football Media Guide as well as the Oklahoma pre-game notes for Saturday’s matchup with Texas Tech.

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