Oklahoma has been nothing short of remarkable at home in the Bob Stoops era.
In fact, since his inaugural season in 1999, the Sooners have compiled the nation’s second-best overall home record with an 85-5 mark.
That home-field advantage has especially shown when ranked teams have come to Norman, where the Sooners are 9-2 against Top 15 opponents. Against teams ranked in the Top 10, Oklahoma is 3-1 at home.
On Saturday, the Sooners will be faced with another critical game against a Top 10 opponent when Texas Tech rolls into town. The Red Raiders did win in their last trip to Norman during the 2011 season, but success inside Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium has been very rare for them in the past 15 years.
In its last eight trips to Norman, Texas Tech has come away victorious only once. In those games, the Red Raiders have scored more than 21 points only twice and the average score has been 39-18 in the Sooners' favor.
Needless to say, the confines of Owen Field have been anything but friendly to Texas Tech.
Though the numbers tell you that playing this game in Norman puts Oklahoma at a big advantage, one thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is the fact that the Red Raiders will be starting a freshman at quarterback.
Davis Webb did win on the road last week against West Virginia, and looked impressive doing it, but winning on Saturday in Norman in a matchup between Top 15 teams will be a totally different animal.
Also, you have to consider the fact that this will arguably be the best defense that Texas Tech has faced so far this season. The Sooners have sustained key injuries at both defensive tackle and linebacker, but this should be the biggest test that the Red Raider offense has faced all year.
For a freshman making only his third career start, winning on the road against the Sooners will be quite the test.
Granted, the crowd at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium isn’t exactly the most raucous you’ll encounter, but there’s no denying the Sooners’ strong track record at home in big games.
As impressive as Texas Tech has been this season, it still has its share of question marks. Oklahoma certainly has the talent to expose those uncertainties, but the question will be how the Red Raiders perform on a stage of this magnitude.
On paper, this matchup looks even.
In big games such as this one, though, it’s tough to pick against the Sooners at home.