Oklahoma’s non-conference schedule wasn’t nearly as good as the program thought it was going to be when it was scheduled many years ago. But as the Sooners turned the page to conference play, there was zero drop off as Lincoln Riley ruined Matt Well’s Big 12 debut with a 55-16 win over Texas Tech.
Meantime, Jalen Hurts continued to show his progress in Riley’s system with another ridiculous stat line. Hurts piled up 415 passing yards on 17/24 passing, while throwing three touchdowns and one interception. On the ground, he was the team’s second-leading rushing with nine carries for 70 yards and a score.
After forcing Texas Tech into a three-and-out, the Sooners scored five plays later, going 65 yards in 2:37 and Trey Sermon scoring the first points of the game with a one-yard touchdown run.
Rice transfer Jackson Tyner started the game for Texas Tech in place of the injured Alan Bowman and his second series didn’t go much better than his first. Another three-and-out turned the ball back over to the Sooners and eight plays and 95 yards later it was Hurts scoring his lone rushing touchdown of the day as OU went up 14-0.
Jett Duffey came in to replace Tyner at QB for Texas Tech and while he had some success throughout the afternoon, it didn’t come on his first drive, which was, once again, a three-and-out, with Oklahoma turning its third drive into a field goal to go up 17-0 and the route was on.
The two teams then traded touchdowns on the following two drives. Even after Tech put its first score on the board, the wind was sucked out of the Red Raiders’ sails thanks to Hurts 71-yard hook up with CeeDee Lamb on the first play of OU’s next drive.
The halftime adjustments were few and far between for a Texas Tech defense that spent most of its afternoon missing tackles and running into each other (see below).
The second half began with Jalen Hurts hooking up with CeeDee Lamb for a 65-yard touchdown and a 41-13 lead. Hurts’ day was over at the end of the third quarter when Oklahoma took a 48-13 lead. The only scoring in the fourth quarter came on a Rhamondre Stevenson touchdown run as OU went on to beat Texas Tech 55-16.
For Jalen Hurts, he’s giving the Heisman voters plenty to think about in the early season as his stat line is looking awfully comparable to Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray through four games of their respective Heisman seasons.
In 2017, Mayfield completed 75.2% of his passes with 13 touchdowns to zero interceptions, averaging 332.3 passing yards per game. In 2018, Murray completed 68.2% of his passes with 11 touchdowns to two interceptions and 257.0 passing yards per game. So far this season, Hurts is completing 77.4% of his passes with 12 touchdowns to one interception and 323.3 passing yards per game.
On the other side, Matt Wells has a lot to figure out with this program before next week. Jett Duffey had some good moments as a runner and a passer, but this team is clearly taking a big drop off from Alan Bowman. The defense, which was expected to be decent, looked brutal against OU, giving up 664 total yards.
The Red Raiders have no down time with a full slate of games in October, starting next week at home against Oklahoma State. The Sooners hit the road to Lawrence next week to face the Jayhawks.
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