NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 22: Inside receiver Adam James #82 of Texas Tech rushes up field during the first half against Oklahoma at at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma was upset by Texas Tech 41-38. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Oklahoma's defense set the tone against Texas Tech on the opening possession of the game. Unfortunately it wasn't a good one as the Red Raiders marched 54 yards in only four plays to take a 7-0 lead. Oklahoma never led in the game as the defense was abused to 572 yards and 41 points resulting in a 41-38 loss and an end to the 39-game home winning streak.
On a night where everything had to go wrong for Oklahoma to lose...it absolutely did. Give Tech credit though. They found the weakness and exploited it - again, and again, and again.
With starting cornerback Jamell Fleming out with a knee injury Gabe Lynn stepped in pretty much became the torch. Not because he lit up the field but rather he got lit up and burned all night long. Suddenly Oklahoma's defense was exposed like a streaker at a UCLA/Arizona football game and there's no depth at the corner position. I was having flashbacks to the Missouri game except this time it was much, much worse. Lynn was getting abused like a burnt-orange headed stepchild.
I really can't blame ineptness by personnel on the coaching staff. That part of the game was about the Jimmy's and Joe's rather than the X's and O's. However, I think a legitimate question would be why it took so long to get Lynn out of there. The change finally came late in the game when Aaron Colvin moved over from safety to corner and Sam Proctor came in at safety. However, it was a case of too little too late and to make matters worse Demontre Hurst was burned twice on Tech's final scoring drive, including the clinching touchdown. How can Gabe Lynn be that bad and better yet, how can he be that bad and still make the field. That's on the coaches!
It the bleeding stopped just with the secondary problems it would have been bad enough. However, there's much more. With defensive tackle Casey Walker and middle linebacker Tom Wort out with injuries the Red Raiders were free to gallop up the field. Again, credit Tech for finding a weakness and exploiting it over and again. DeAndre Washington averaged 5.3 yards per carry and Tech regularly beat Oklahoma with screen passes and draw plays on third downs. Not sure what the status is on Jaydan Bird but he was also a no show leaving freshman Kellen Jones to play a significant amount of snaps at middle linebacker.
It was the perfect storm for Oklahoma (yes, pun was intended) and there was an obvious mismatch on the field leaving Oklahoma looking anything but a BCS caliber defense.
Defensive Line - Defensive ends Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis played pretty well but the tackles were just short of awful and couldn't get pressure in the backfield. Defensive end position grade: B- Defensive tackle position grade: D Overall position grade: C-
Linebackers - Travis Lewis and Corey Nelson combined for a total of 18 tackles but the screen passes and draw plays were largely on their shoulders. Its a case of their performance needing to be much more than just tackles shown. Overall position grade: D-
Secondary - 452 passing yards and four touchdowns pretty much tells the story here. Overall position grade: F