football

Wolf Diamonds Wrap: Oklahoma

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Texas Tech
notched a monumental, potentially program-defining win Saturday against Oklahoma
in Norman. The Red Raiders snapped the Sooners' 39-game home winning streak and
have, at least for the time being, derailed OU's national championship hopes.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED
1. I was dead wrong. I kept bouncing back and forth on this game last
week. I thought there was a chance that Texas Tech could keep it interesting for
a little while, but ultimately leaned more toward the Sooners rolling the Red
Raiders as they typically do in Norman.
Pass the ketchup, please. I need to eat some crow.
Leading up to the game, there were signs that Tech could hang with Oklahoma.
Bob Stoops' team hadn't faced an offense comparable to
Neal Brown's this season. OU had faced a string of average to below average
quarterbacks during its first six games, none comparable to Seth Doege.
The Red Raiders were able to move the ball easily against Kansas State's Big
12-leading defense the week before, and the Sooners had surrendered over 500
yards of offense at home to Missouri in late September.
Still eating.
Yet virtually no one, myself very much included, gave those factors much weight
when discussing the matchup. I looked at Oklahoma and only saw the series'
lopsided history in Norman. I looked at Tech and only saw its back-breaking
mistakes over the last two weeks, not that it was arguably three or four plays
away from being undefeated. I looked at the 29-point point spread and thought,
given the Red Raiders' struggles this season and history in Norman, it was
probably pretty accurate.
Wrong, wrong and wrong again.
2. Doege is unflappable. Last week, I wrote that we would "learn a lot
about Doege" in Norman, and see how he "handles his first truly
hostile environment" and whether he could bounce back from a bad game.
Well, any questions?
Doege threw for more yards (441) than Tech has ever had total in a single game
in Norman during the Big 12 era. Sonny Cumbie led the Red Raiders to
425 yards of total offense in 2004, which was the program's high-mark in Norman
heading into the weekend. Doege's 441 passing yards are also the most for any
Tech quarterback against OU.
It's about more than stats, though. Doege handled the pressure, both tangible
and intangible, well on Saturday. He wasn't fazed by the delayed start or
Deveric Gallington's low snaps in the first half -- credit to
Gallington for the job he did Saturday, and it's worth noting his improvement on
snaps in the second half. Doege wasn't intimidated by the interlocking OU on the
Sooners' helmets, Oklahoma's 39-game home winning streak or their seven national
championships.
The rest of the team feeds off of that. Teams are oftentimes extensions of their
quarterback, and we've seen that in Lubbock several times over the last decade.
Taylor Potts was inconsistent during his two-seasons as a starter, and so was
his team. Graham Harrell stepped up in big games and didn't back down from
anyone, and his team was the same way. B.J. Symons was cocky and oozed swagger,
and the Red Raiders fed off of that in 2003.
3. Glasgow's defense continues to improve. The numbers haven't always
been pretty, but Chad Glasgow's undermanned defense has made winning
football plays in each of the last three weeks.
Otis Mounds' secondary, with former walk-ons Brett Dewhurst,
Eugene Neboh and Sawyer Vest playing the bulk of the game,
held Landry Jones to his worst completion rate at home (54.5 percent)
since completing just 47 percent of his passes against Utah State in the 2010
season-opener.
Perhaps the best examples of Tech's defensive success Saturday are the
third-down numbers. Tech prevented OU from converting on 12-of-17 third-down
attempts. Not only that, but the Sooners entered Saturday's game having been
held to just 10 three-and-outs on the season; Tech forced six on Saturday. OU's
offense hadn't been held to more than two three-and-outs in seven-straight game.
All that with no Blake Dees, Donald Langley,
Derrick Mays or Jarvis Phillips.
OBSCENELY OBLIGATORY OVERREACTION
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Double T 104.3 and around the Hub City was whether or not the Red Raiders,
coming off of two straight home losses, could extend their 18-season bowl
eligibility streak.
That line of thinking has now been replaced, and fans have gone from one end of
the spectrum to the other -- where fans once saw losses, they now see wins. And,
in many respects, I get that. If Tech is capable of playing that well against
Oklahoma in Norman, matchups against average to above-average teams like Texas,
Missouri and Baylor all of a sudden don't look so daunting.
It will be interesting to see how the Red Raiders respond to this win. No one
outside of the football program expected Saturday's outcome. Now, all they're
going to hear about over the next few days is how great they are and how they're
expected to demolish Iowa State on Saturday.
If Tech doesn't take the Cyclones seriously, they could find themselves facing
the same reality that OU is today. Paul Rhoads' bunch will head to
Lubbock with the same nothing-to-lose attitude that Tech took with them to
Norman.
WEEKEND SUPERLATIVES
Most Likely To Be Reincarnated As Burnt Toast - Gabe Lynn. The Red
Raiders picked on Lynn, who filled in for an injured Jamell Fleming,
for three quarters before he was finally put out of his misery and benched. But
excuse me if I don't feel much sympathy for the Sooners. Lynn is a third-year
sophomore and was a Rivals100 prospect coming out of high school. Tech doesn't
have a starter with that kind of pedigree in their entire secondary, let alone a
backup.
Speaking of toast...
Lubbock's New Official Sandwich - Peanut butter and jelly. With kickoff
delayed Saturday due to lightning in the area, the Red Raiders returned to the locker
room, listened to music and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that the
team's hotel had handed out before they left for the stadium.
Sooner Killers - Alex Torres and Aaron Crawford. When
healthy, Torres seems to play his best against Oklahoma. He caught four passes
for 94 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday, and had 11 catches for 163 yards
and a score in 2009 -- both were wins. Crawford didn't put up monster statistics
against the Sooners, but he'll end his career undefeated against OU as a
starter.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
• There were four Big 12 games on Saturday, and the visitor won all of them.
This marks the first time since Oct. 14, 2000 that the league's Saturday slate
has been swept by the road teams.
• Through 19 Big 12 games, the average score has been 45.7 to 25.7. Only one of
those 19 games has been won by a team that has scored less than 30 points
(Kansas State 24, Missouri 17).
• The Big 12 has five teams -- Oklahoma State (45.8), Oklahoma (44.5), Texas A&M
(40.5), Kansas State (40) and Tech (40) -- averaging 40 or more points per game
in conference play.
• In Big 12 play, the Red Raiders lead all conference teams in total offense (551.2) and
passing yards (417.5) per game and are fourth in total defense (436.5).
Tommy Tuberville and Tech both logged their first victory over a
top-ranked team on the road with the Red Raiders' victory over Oklahoma -- the
Sooners were ranked No. 1 in the Coaches Poll. This was Tuberville's second win
over a top-ranked opponent as a head coach; while at Auburn, the Tigers topped
No. 1 Florida 23-21 in 2001.
• Iowa State has lost its first four Big 12 games by double-digits and hasn't
scored more than 26 points in four quarters of play since beating Kansas 28-16
on Oct. 30, 2010; the Cyclones scored 30 and 44 points in overtime games against
Nebraska (2010) and Iowa (2011).
• In case you missed it, Bill Snyder held a coaching clinic Saturday in
Lawrence. Kansas State rolled all over Kansas 59-21 and head into a monster
home matchup against Oklahoma.
• Missouri could very well exit for the SEC after posting a losing record in its
final season in the Big 12. The Tigers are 3-4 (1-3 Big 12) heading into a road
game against Texas A&M; MU is a double-digit underdog, and will likely be an
underdog the following week at Baylor. Three of Missouri's next four opponents
are ranked, and they'll need to win two in that stretch to have any hopes of
bowl eligibility when they close the season against Kansas.
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