First Look: The Texas Tech Red Raiders

Since 1992 Oklahoma and Texas Tech have played each other 18 times in football. The Sooners own a 13-5 record in the series and are gunning for their 14th win against the Red Raiders this Saturday night in Norman. Scoring at a pace of nearly 44 points per game Tech is fourth in the Big 12 in scoring offense but seventh in scoring defense. They're currently riding a two-game losing streak where they've given up 45 and 41 points to Texas A&M and Kansas State.

 


Red Raiders Football Schedule

Texas State Sat 09/03 W 50 - 10
@ New Mexico Sat 09/17 W 59 - 13
Nevada Sat 09/24 W 35 - 34
@ Kansas Sat 10/01 W 45 - 34
Texas A&M Sat 10/08 L 40 - 45
Kansas St. Sat 10/15 L 34 - 41
@ Oklahoma Sat 10/22 7:00 PM CDT
Iowa St. Sat 10/29 6:00 PM CDT
@ Texas Sat 11/05 TBA
Oklahoma St. Sat 11/12 TBA
@ Missouri Sat 11/19 TBA
@ Baylor Sat 11/26 2:30 PM CST

The key match-up in this game is going to be Oklahoma's defense vs. the Texas Tech offense. Quarterback Seth Doege is second only to Oklahoma's Landry Jones in total passing yards in the Big 12 but he also has two more touchdowns and two less interceptions. He's completing over 70% of his passes for an average of 361 yards per game. 


Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
2011 - Seth Doege 5 103.0 162 227 71.4 1706 341.2 7.5 17 1 27 91 18.2 3.4 0 9 -58

The good news is that Doege isn't a threat to run against Oklahoma but the Sooner defense needs to bring pressure early and often anyway. Tech has already allowed their quarterback to be sacked nine times and Oklahoma has recorded 13 sacks in the last two games. Oklahoma is more than capable of and absolutely has to pressure the quarterback Saturday night. 

Doege's top target this season has been Eric Ward who leads the team with 38 receptions and 8 touchdowns but Alex Torres is just as dangerous as ever and is averaging 63.5 receiving yards per game. 


Rushing Receiving
G Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Rec Yds Y/G Avg TD
2011 - Eric Stephens 5 109 570 114 5.2 8 15 128 25.6 8.5 0

The Red Raiders are 8th in the Big 12 in rushing but don't let that fool you. Eric Stephens is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and 114 rushing yards per game and is the fourth leading rusher in the conference. This poses a bit of a defensive worry for me as Oklahoma's linebackers are not only going to have to worry about passing assignments but also stay alert to the play-action or a draw play designed to take advantage of their speed and catch them out of position. 

The Texas defense vs. Oklahoma offense is a very advantageous match-up for the Sooners and one that Oklahoma absolutely must capitalize on. The Red Raiders are a bit salty against the pass but there is a catch. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 56% of their passes for an average of 188 yards per game. That places Tech at the top of the conference in pass defense where they've only given up seven touchdowns through the air but have also nabbed a paltry four interceptions. 

Now, here's the catch. Texas Tech is next to last in the conference in rush defense. Opponents are averaging 219 yards per game on the ground, 4.7 yards per carry and the Red Raiders have given up 13 rushing touchdowns. When you're that poor against the rush opponents are going to try to exploit it and thus over-inflate the passing defensive stats.  

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