Are you a person of sensible taste who likes things in moderation? Do you enjoy it when everything happens exactly the way you think it will? Do you watch football for the trivial aspects of the game like tackling? Are you a fan of betting the under?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, go watch something else because this game is not for you. Folks, it’s Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech on a Saturday night in Lubbock. LET’S. GET. WEIRD.
Date – Saturday, November 3rd
Time & TV – 7 p.m. CT on ABC
Spread – Oklahoma (-13.5)
Over/under – 77 (lol)
Oklahoma’s running back situation
Marcelias Sutton is out for the rest of the season after suffering a broken leg earlier this week. That means OU is down to just three healthy running backs for the remainder of the schedule. Luckily, all three of these backs could start at a lot of schools. Sophomore Trey Sermon and a pair of freshmen in Kennedy Brooks (of the redshirt variety) and T.J. Pledger could each see a substantial workload Saturday night — especially when considering that OU would prefer to give its defensive unit some rest between possessions against an offense like Texas Tech’s. These three backs have combined for 157 carries for 1,149 yards (7.32 yards per rush) and 11 touchdowns through the first eight games of the season. Pledger, a true freshman, was the No. 4 running back in the class of 2018 but had mostly been utilized in garbage time prior to last week. Look for him to potentially be a factor Saturday night.
Ruffin McNeil’s first real test as interim DC
The Sooner defense has looked much-improved in the two games since Ruffin McNeil took over as interim defensive coordinator. Granted, both of those games were against less-than-stellar offenses in TCU and Kansas State. That will not be the case in this game as Texas Tech ranks top 10 in the country in plenty of offensive categories (as is often the case with the Red Raiders). They throw the ball 47 times a game which could spell trouble against OU’s secondary that is prone to giving up big plays in the passing game. Nobody expects this defense to dominate, but a strong (or competent?) defensive performance Saturday would be a huge statement for the Sooners. The availability of Bookie Radley-Hiles could play a big role in this, so his status will definitely be something to keep an eye on.
The Big 12 title race is still wide open
Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia are currently tied for first place in the Big 12 at 4-1, with UT and WVU playing one another on Saturday. Iowa State and Texas Tech are lurking close behind at 3-2. That means if OU wins, it will be tied for first place with the winner of UT/WVU and if Tech wins, it will be tied with a slew of teams for second place and would still be very much in the running. The Sooners, of course, need to win out to have any shot of making the College Football Playoff. On the other side, Tech has a chance to compete for a spot in Arlington after being picked to finish 8th in the Big 12 preseason poll.
Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes will not be on the field Saturday (though they will face off in Cleveland on Sunday), but I still expect this to be a high-scoring game. Kliff Kingsbury has never beaten Oklahoma, and that is in large part because he willingly handed OU the greatest quarterback in college football history. Kliff will have to stew for another year because OU’s six-game series win streak isn’t ending Saturday night. Sooners win in a high-scoring affair, but avoid a “shootout”.
Oklahoma 59, Texas Tech 38
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