Connect with us

2018 Season

10 Takeaways: Oklahoma Survives On The Road Against Texas Tech

Texas Tech jumped out early, but Oklahoma put up enough offense to win. What can we take away from the game?

Getty Images - John Weast

The game in Lubbock looked early like it might be an upset, with the Red Raiders picking off a couple of Kyler Murray passes to set up easy touchdowns in Sooner territory. A first half shootout that ended 31-28 with Texas Tech on top would give way to a scoring drought in the third quarter, though.

At halftime, Texas Tech lost quarterback Alan Bowman, who ended up being transported to a local hospital. Backup Jett Duffey played well in relief, but Oklahoma proved to be too overwhelming through the air and on the ground. 23 second half points was enough to give the Sooners the win in a close one, 51-46.

THE LOSS OF ALAN BOWMAN WAS HUGE

When Bowman didn’t return after halftime because he re-aggravated his partially collapsed lung, there was a palpable loss of energy in the building. With backup Jett Duffey in at quarterback, the offense struggled to move the ball until late in the game. When the Sooners scored on the first possession of the third quarter, it looked as though things might be over for Texas Tech. With Duffey at the helm, the Red Raiders showed some fight and rallied, but Bowman was the X factor Texas Tech needed in this one.

THE TEXAS TECH DEFENSE PLAYED NEARLY GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN

Getting two interceptions to start the game gave the Red Raiders instant momentum, and it set them up to maintain a lead for the majority of the first half. They also held the Sooners to only one touchdown in the third quarter when their offense stalled, so it’s hard to put much of this loss on them. Coming in, Texas Tech was going to have to make plays defensively to get the upset, and they gave themselves a chance by wining the turnover battle.

Texas Tech Red Raiders gear at Fanatics.com

THE RED RAIDERS STRUGGLED TO BE MORE PHYSICAL THAN OKLAHOMA

In the end, the Oklahoma ground game was just too much for the Red Raiders to handle. The Sooners’ 323 yards rushing would put the game just out of reach, as the Red Raiders struggled to get off blocks and make tackles throughout the night. Even with Bowman out, Texas Tech could maybe have kept this game close, but they struggled to match the physicality of the Sooners:

TEXAS TECH WAS ALWAYS GOING TO NEED MORE OFFENSE

It was no secret that there would be points scored in this game, and Kliff Kingsbury’s offense was always going to need to win a shootout to take this victory. Twice in this game the Red Raiders settled for a Clayton Hatfield field goal when they were unable to make it into the end zone. In a game decided by five points, those eight extra points could have decided the upset.

DO THINGS START TO GET MURKY FOR THE RED RAIDERS NOW? 

With a couple of conference losses on their season, Texas Tech still had an outside shot of making the Big 12 championship game with a win over Oklahoma. They now fall to 3-2 in Big 12 play, a need one more win to get to a bowl game. You have to think that even without Bowman, the Red Raiders will find a way to get one more win in their next three contests against Texas, Kansas State, and Baylor. It’s difficult to label those as likely wins, though.

THE SOONERS REBOUNDED FROM EARLY MISTAKES, AND IN A BIG WAY

Oklahoma looked off kilter after Kyler Murray’s first two interceptions, but the Sooners never seemed to panic. They went back to work offensively, scoring touchdowns on their next four drives.

Oklahoma Sooners gear at Fanatics.com

Instead of being the team that faced all the pressure, Oklahoma’s offensive barrage made it clear that Texas Tech was going to have match scores in order to win this game:

THE “PICK TWO” ENDED UP SETTING THE MARGIN

It’s not every day you see a two-point attempt taken back to the house. Kingsbury received his fair share of criticism for this play call, but you can understand why he’d be trying to get creative with his starting quarterback out. It almost would have been better for Seth Collins to throw this incomplete. Instead, credit Robert Barnes for having the cognizance to grab the ball and go for the long return. It could have been a 42-42 0r 42-40 game, but the four point margin gave the Sooners the opportunity to make it a two possession game.

IS THE OKLAHOMA DEFENSE IMPROVED?

After Saturday evening, the jury’s still out on that. The promotion of Ruffin McNeil to defensive coordinator was thought to have improved the Sooner defense over the past few weeks, but it’s hard to know if giving up 366 yards passing is improvement. With Alan Bowman out of the game, Oklahoma’s defense did well enough to seal the victory, but we’ll never know what would have happened had Bowman stayed in. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered, or maybe there would have been more of this:

TREY SERMON IS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF HIS OPPORTUNITIES

With Rodney Anderson out, there was plenty of speculation about what kind of impact it would have on the Sooners running game. Behind an overpowering offensive line, Trey Sermon continued to assert his will against the Red Raiders, appearing at times as if he was impossible to tackle:

CAN ANYONE UPSET THE SOONERS? 

After losing to Texas at midseason, the Sooners seem to be unstoppable in their drive to get back to the Big 12 championship. With the Longhorns’ loss this weekend, Oklahoma is now solely in control of their own destiny: win out, and you’re in. The Sooners appear vulnerable on defense, but who else on their schedule can contain their speed and athleticism? We’ve got three games to find out if anyone can.

Post Brought To You By: Fanatics

We are excited to partner with Fanatics this football season. They have the latest, hottest and officially licensed, team gear. Everything from shirts, hats and pants to golf club head covers, flags and collectible memorabilia. Get the gear other fans will drool over on game day!

Get Game Day Gear
Baylor | Iowa State | Kansas | K-State | Oklahoma
Oklahoma State | TCU | Texas | Texas Tech | West Virginia

Shop Back-to-School Gear at Fanatics.com

Comments

More in 2018 Season