Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech preview and prediction.
11 a.m. CST, Saturday, September 28th, 2019, Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
TV: FOX (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Jenny Taft)
Radio: Sooner Sports Network (Toby Rowland/Merv Johnson); Texas Tech Sports Network (Brian Jensen/John Harris); Sirius 135/XM 199
Line (open): Oklahoma -24
Fun fact: The Sooners have scored at least 38 points in each of their last nine games against the Red Raiders. It is the second-longest streak against an opponent in school history (OU scored at least 38 points in 11 straight games against Kingfisher College from 1908 through 1919).
QB Jett Duffey/Jackson Tyner
Starter Alan Bowman is out several weeks with a shoulder injury, so who will step up at QB? Matt Wells has listed both players as “or” on the depth chart, so either could start. We’ve seen the Jett Duffey show before. He can run the ball (he was the team’s leading rusher in 2018), but he has shown limited ability as a passer. Tyner is a graduate transfer from Rice who showed dual-threat abilities, but didn’t get a ton of playing time with a total of 1,000 passing yards and 350 rushing yards during his career. The unknown factor is one Wells should try to use to his advantage.
LB Jordyn Brooks
Any time you play Oklahoma, your linebackers are going to be busy trying to keep the running game honest, while also trying to stop the passing game, which often proves to be a near-impossible task. Brooks’ season is off to a great start as he leads the Big 12 with 35 tackles and has double-digit tackles in four-straight games. He should be busy come Saturday.
QB Jalen Hurts
Hurts has played very mediocre competition thus far, but he’s already put up some video-game like numbers. He is the only FBS player since at least 1996 to record three or more passing efficiency ratings of at least 245.0 in a season. He leads the nation with his 250.2 season rating and is also the only player in the country averaging more than 85 rushing yards (124.3) and at least 225 passing yards (293.3) per contest this season. But, this is Hurts’ first game against a Big 12 opponent and we’ll get an even better look at how much he’s improved as a passer since his Alabama days.
DT Jalen Redmond
Redmond’s redshirt freshman season is off to a roaring start. He ranks in the top 10 in the Big 12 in sacks (2) and tackles for loss (4.5). OU utilized the new redshirt rule well with Redmond, as he only played in three games. He was a five-star prospect coming out of high school and was ranked as the nation’s No. 3 weakside defensive end by 247Sports and No. 8 by Rivals. He’ll now have a chance to wreck havoc against a back up quarterback.
The Red Raiders need to try and methodically take advantage of a defense that is still trying to work things out under new DC Alex Grinch. I’d probably start Duffey and try to utilize him in the running game to set up the passing game. Despite OU’s hot start, the Sooners still rank in the bottom half of the Big 12 in rushing yards allowed and are the second-worst team in the conference in pass defense efficiency. Defensively, Tech must stop the running game, as OU is averaging over 300 rushing yards thus far, and see if your veteran secondary can hold on in man-to-man coverage. It’s a gamble, but I think it’s a risk a team has to take to try and stop OU’s strong rushing attack.
The Sooners need to demoralize the Red Raiders early and often. The team is already without it’s starter and heading on the road to face the reigning Big 12 champions. Alex Grinch should bring plenty of pressure early in this game, make the TTU running backs pick up blitzes and try to fluster whoever Matt Wells starts at quarterback. That will allow OU to put this game away relatively quickly and avoid any hints of an upset.
Oklahoma 45, Texas Tech 21
The Sooners will be energized playing in front of their home crowd for their Big 12 opener, while Texas Tech is holding on for dear life with a back up QB. Jalen Hurts will continue to show that he may not be the passer of Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, but he’s got the wheels to make up for it, especially at the college level. Duffey (if he gets the bulk of the reps at QB) may end up with a big statistical game, similar to his one last year against Texas, but it won’t be nearly enough against a high-powered OU offense and a steadily-improving OU defense.
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