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Oklahoma Sooner Defense vs. Texas Tech Offense

The Stats

Team Pts/G Yds/G Pass Yds/G Rush Yds/G
Sooner D 16.8 312.3 217.2 84.9
Texas Tech O 42.5 542.8 480.6 62.18

The Weakness
The weakness appears to be Tech's rushing attack but the reality is that the Red Raiders only attempt to run the ball 19 times per game. Of that they only average 3.3 yards per carry and statically rank last in the conference in almost every category. However when you average 480 passing yards per game anything that you get from your rushing attack is gravy. Tech runs just enough to keep opposing defenses aware of the fact that there is a running back lined up behind the quarterback but they don't run to win games. They use the pass for that!

The Strength
Oklahoma has the best rushing defense in the conference only giving up only 84.9 yards per game and an average of 2.5 yards per carry. Despite getting torched in the first half against Baylor OU's pass defense isn't too shabby either. The Sooners pass defense ranks third in the conference by giving up 227.4 yards per game.

Although the rushing defense is the strength it's the pass defense that will make or break this game for the Sooners. Oklahoma doesn't really allow opponents to run against them and Tech doesn't really try to run on opponents. With that in mind the main strength of the Sooner defense is made a non-factor.

The Plan of Attack
OU fans should be prepared for Tech to move the ball. They are going to make plays and some of them will be spectacular. The key for the defense in this game is to not allow any productivity from Tech's rushing attack will defending against the pass.

It's imperative that the Sooner defense get pressure on the quarterback and force him to make bad or hurried passes. OU must "wrap up" and not allow short passes to turn into long gains. The final thing that the Sooners must do is defend the middle passing lanes. This seems to have hurt OU all season against teams who can exploit it and the Red Raiders may have the most talent in that area of the teams the Sooners have played.

DeMarcus Granger and company need to force Graham Harrell to tuck and run
instead of set up and pass. photo

Look for OU to use several different blitz schemes to try to get to the quarterback and disrupt any rhythm that has developed. Also look for them to use mostly nickel and dime packages to help out with covering the multiple receiver sets and to make up for some of the linebackers inability to cover down field.

OU will line up to defend the pass but they must also stop the run without changing their formations. If they can accomplish this then they'll be alright. If not things will be more than interesting. If the Sooners hold Tech to between 21 and 24 points then they should be in position to win the game.