The Texas Tech Red Raiders will take their high-powered offense and two-game losing streak into Norman with a chance to shock the world against the third-ranked Oklahoma Sooners.
Texas Tech started out hot this season with a 4-0 record and hopes were high in Lubbock, but things have cooled considerably since the start of Big 12 play. The team has given up 85 points the last two weeks and are staring at a three-game losing streak in the face unless it can upset the Sooners.
Oklahoma started out the season as the No. 1 team in the country, and nothing it has done has dispelled that notion. The problem is the SEC teams that have leapfrogged them—LSU and Alabama—are no slouches themselves. If they take care of business the rest of the season, one of them will play for a BCS championship.
Where: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla.
When: Saturday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. EDT
Watch: ABC, ESPN3.com
Will Oklahoma Play In The BCS Title Game?
You can understand why Oklahoma is such a prohibitive favorite, because it is far more talented than Texas Tech.
However, the Red Raiders have always been able to put up points, regardless of whom they are facing. A spread of 29 points is too many against this team. The Red Raiders will give up a lot of points, of course, but they can score with any team in the country.
That is a huge number for any game, but with these two teams that might actually be too low. Oklahoma is averaging 45 points per game, while Texas Tech is right behind with 44.
Honestly, the over/under could be set at 80 and it will probably end up being too low. The only thing that gives some pause about betting the over is Texas Tech has not played a team with a defense as strong as Oklahoma's.
The Red Raiders can score on anyone, but the question is how well they will do against a team that actually has the talent and speed on defense to keep up with them.
Texas Tech Injuries
Out: LB Tanner Foster (Knee), RB Eric Stephens (Knee)
Questionable: WR Darrin Moore (Knee), UT Pete Robinson (Shoulder), UT Ben McRoy (Undisclosed)
Out: OL Ben Habern (Arm)
Doubtful: K Jimmy Stevens (Quadriceps)
Questionable: RB Brennan Clay (Shoulder), WR Kenny Stills (Calf), OL Stephen Good (Concussion), DT Casey Walker (Undisclosed), LB Corey Nelson (Wrist), LB Tom Wort (Concussion)
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
Oklahoma has very real National Championship aspirations this season. The Sooners were ranked No. 3 in the first BCS rankings released last Sunday, and the more they keep winning, the more they can close the gap between themselves and the two SEC teams.
A victory over an unranked Texas Tech team won’t be a huge feather in the Sooners’ cap, but a loss would all but end any shot they have at playing in the BCS championship game.
Keys to Texas Tech Win
With Texas Tech, you know exactly what you are getting: a lot of scoring with little or no defense whatsoever. The only way that it can win this game is hope that Oklahoma’s defense plays soft so the offense is able to put up 50 points.
Quarterback Seth Doege has thrown for at least 366 yards in the last three games, and he will need a similar performance in this game. He has to block out the three interceptions he threw against Kansas State last week.
Unless every player on the defense plays the game of their lives, it is going to be very hard to win. It is not impossible because they do have the ability to score, but without getting consistent stops on defense, it is hard to defeat a more talented team.
Keys to Oklahoma Win
The first thing that Oklahoma has to do is score. Texas Tech has a high-powered offense that can put up points against any team in the country. Fortunately, the Sooners have a ton of talent on that side of the ball, led by quarterback Landry Jones.
Then, they will have to use their speed and physical defensive play to attack the finesse style that Texas Tech plays. They should be able to overwhelm the Red Raiders early in the game, which will hurt their confidence and leave them exhausted in the second half.