Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match up in our Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech preview and prediction.
Saturday, October 30, 2021; 2:30 pm Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium; Norman, OK
TV: ABC (Dave Pasch and Dusty Dvoracek)
Radio: TTU: Texas Tech Sports Network (Brian Jensen and John Harris); OU: Sooner Sports Network (Toby Rowland and Teddy Lehman)
Spread: OU by 20
Records: Oklahoma 8-0 (5-0 in Big 12); Texas Tech 5-3 2-3 in Big 12)
Rankings: OU No. 4 in AP and AFCA Coaches; TTU unranked.
Last Week: OU defeated Kansas 35-23; TTU lost to Kansas State 25-24
Fun Fact: OU owns a nine-game winning streak over Tech. The Red Raiders’ last victory was an upset in 2009 to end a 39-game home winning streak for the crimson and cream.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Quarterback Henri Colombi
The senior signal-caller has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,214 yards with 4 TDs and 4 INTs. These aren’t great stats, but the way Oklahoma has been playing defense lately, Colombi could have a career-defining day vs. the Sooners.
Receiver Erik Ekuzanma
The junior wideout leads the Red Raiders with 32 receptions for 508 yards (15.9 per catch). Ekuzanma had 7 grabs for 88 yards vs. OU last year.
Kicker Jonathan Garibay
This year, the senior has nailed all 10 of his field-goal attempts and only missed one PAT in 35 tries. His longest field goal this season came from 48 yards out. Garibay earned the starting kicker role in the last half of 2020. He finished 8 of 11 on FG attempts and 6 of 7 on PATs.
Defensive End Tyree Wilson
The junior lineman leads Tech with 9 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including 4 sacks. He got his first start vs. the Sooners a year ago as a tackle but was moved to end for the final four games of 2020. Wilson has been a mainstay at end this year.
Running Back Kennedy Brooks
After two weeks of substantial rushing efforts (217 and 153 yards, respectively), the redshirt junior was held to 79 yards vs. Kansas; however, he did score 2 touchdowns vs. the Jayhawks. Brooks should get a bunch of yards this weekend as the Raiders have yielded 168.5 rushing yards per game this year.
Quarterback Caleb Williams
The freshman QB continues to display amazing performances in just since taking over the starting job. Yes, he did have a sloppy first half vs. the Jayhawks—throwing an interception, getting sacked for a 10 yards loss, and flagged for intentional grounding. In the second half, he tossed 2 TD passes and scored on a 40-yard run. Williams’ hustle was evident when the Sooners went for a fourth down to save a late drive. On 4th-and 1 from OU’s 46 with the Sooners up 28-23 with 3:28 left in the contest, Williams handed the ball to Brooks, who was stopped in the backfield. As Brooks was being tackled three yards behind the line of scrimmage, Williams ripped the ball from the running back and powered his way for a 5-yard gain and a first down. The Sooners scored their final touchdown seven plays later.
Receiver Trevon West
The sophomore hasn’t received the headlines of some of the other ballyhooed receivers. He’s caught only four passes for 45 yards this year, but let’s give him kudos for the longest play in Lawrence. West picked up 66 yards on a reverse play to set up OU’s second touchdown in the third quarter.
Tight End/H-Back Jeremiah
Hall caught Williams’ pass two plays following West’s big run. Earlier in the first half, Hall caught an 11-yard pass then fumbled. He outmuscled the Jayhawks to secure the ball for a first down. The Sooners scored their first touchdown minutes later. Hall finished with 3 grabs for 25 yards and the TD.
Safety Key Lawrence
The sophomore transfer from Tennessee led the Sooners with 8 tackles last week, including 2 stops for losses. Lawrence also forced a fumble midway through the fourth quarter. Justin Broiles recovered on the KU 47-yard line. Oklahoma scored four plays later.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
On Monday, Red Raiders coach Matt Wells was fired after his team blew a 14-point halftime lead vs. Kansas State. The Wildcats scored 15 unanswered points in the second half for a one-point victory in Lubbock. Offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie was promoted to interim head coach. Wells had a 13-17 record in a little more than two-and-a-half years in Lubbock.
Tech quarterback Henri Colombi, who completed 10 of 17 passing for 148 yards vs. K-State, is licking his chops to play against an Oklahoma defense that has not played well by allowing an average of 33 points and 310 and passing yards the last four games. Colombi threw for 227 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs last year in a 62-28 loss to the Sooners.
After being held scoreless in a half for the first time in seven years, the Sooners scored on all five of their possessions in the second half to drop Kansas, 35-23. The Jayhawks were the fourth team this season to milk the clock on its opening drive and keeping OU’s offense off the field. This has been a problem for Oklahoma’s defense, which is a complete mess—missed tackles, players out of position, and penalties. The Sooners were whistled three times for being offside on the Jayhawks’ opening drive.
Prediction: Oklahoma 45 Texas Tech 35
Oklahoma needs to pressure Colombi, something the defense hasn’t down since the second half vs. Texas—only 1 sack and 3 QB hurries the last two games. The result was making average quarterbacks look like Tom Brady—allowing 70 percent completion for a combined 592 yards and 5 TDs with no picks vs. TCU and Kansas. The Sooners haven’t logged an interception in the last 20 quarters.
In his weekly press conference, Lincoln Riley said that his defense is close to being a better unit, something fans are becoming restless about since the D was touted to be the best in Alex Grinch’s third season as defensive coordinator. Yet, OU is 8-0 and Riley said at his weekly conference, “The sky has not fallen; don’t write us off yet.”
The biggest question for the Raiders is how focused they will be after losing their head coach in the middle of the season. If they can maintain focus, they will make this one competitive. They just need one more win to become bowl eligible.