Oklahoma Sooners Look To Rebound Against Texas Tech Red Raiders

Luke McConnellCorrespondent INovember 11, 2010

NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 22:  Quarterback Graham Harrell #6 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders is tackled by Jeremy Beal #44 of the Oklahoma Sooners at Memorial Stadium on November 22, 2008 in Norman, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Saturday will be yet another redemption day for the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.  

Just two weeks ago, the Sooners returned to Norman licking their wounds after a road loss to the Missouri Tigers.  This week, Oklahoma returns home after a disheartening defeat at the hands of the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station.

On the other side of the field will be the Texas Tech Red Raiders, a team that has had its share of ups and downs and inconsistencies this season.  

The Red Raiders are 5-4 overall and 3-4 in conference play in the first year of the Tommy Tuberville era in Lubbock.  Many Texas Tech fans had high hopes for this season in the middle of last year and even into the offseason due to the high number of returning starters on both sides of the ball.

However, those hopes did not pan out as planned.  Texas Tech has not been as effective in its usual highly productive passing offense, and the defense, led by an SEC alum in James Willis, has regressed back to the poor Texas Tech defenses of old.  

The offense is led by quarterback Taylor Potts, a senior, who has passed for 2,576 yards and 24 touchdowns thus far in the season.  These are quality numbers, but still a far cry from what a normal Texas Tech quarterback would be putting up at this point in the season.  

So lacking is the Texas Tech passing offense that the Oklahoma passing offense actually is averaging more passing yards per game than the Red Raiders.  

Baron Batch leads the rushing attack for Texas Tech.  The senior has rushed for over 500 yards on the year and is one of the most steady and consistent backs in the Big 12 conference.  

Tech's receivers are led by Lyle Leong who has caught a remarkable 15 touchdowns so far this season.  Leong is easily Potts' favorite target and it will be up to the Sooners' secondary to lock him down and limit his opportunities to make plays down the field.  

Defensively, the Red Raiders are led by a pair of senior linebackers, Bront Bird and Brian Duncan.  These two are the heart and soul of the defense and are big leaders overall for the team.  

Texas Tech does not rank above 54th in any single major defensive category, including a horrific 118th in pass defense.  If the Oklahoma offense can get rolling, it could be a very ugly game for the Red Raiders.  

Oklahoma will be looking for several things Saturday afternoon.  

The first is obviously a win; a win that would extend the nation's longest home winning streak to 36 games and put the Sooners back on the winning track.

The second thing is payback for the beat down Texas Tech gave the Sooners in Lubbock last season.

Third, a repeat performance of the 2008 whalloping Oklahoma put on Tech in route to the national championship game.  

All will be determined on Saturday.