Texas Tech is a dangerous football team...until their defense takes the field. The Red Raiders will travel to Norman with the Big 12's third highest scoring offense at 49.4 points per game but their defense is the second worse in the conference at 36.9 points allowed per game.
Sophomore quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the Big 12's top rated passing offense by completing nearly 64% of his passes for an average of 8.53 yards per attempt. The Red Raiders are averaging 426.9 yards per game through the air and have 23 total passing touchdowns to 6 interceptions.
Jakeem Grant is Mahomes' leading receiver and it isn't even close. He's hauled in 49 passes on the year for 719 yards and four scores. The next guy in line is Devin Lauderdale who has 21 receptions for 373 yards and three touchdowns. Ten different Red Raiders have caught touchdown passes on the season, including Reginald Davis who has a team-high 5 touchdown receptions.
The Red Raiders aren't bad at running the ball either. Senior DeAndre Washington is averaging seven yards per carry and has crossed the goal line seven times on the ground. Adding another dimension to his effectiveness, Washington has also caught 20 passes for an average of 8.1 yards a pop. Tech is third in the conference in total rushing yards and fourth in yards per game at 197.
Defensively the men from Lubbock are nearly equally bad at stopping both aspects of the offensive attack. They are tenth in the conference in defending the run and ninth against the pass. Opponents average 45 rushing attempts per game against the Red Raiders for an average of 5.8 yards per carry, and Tech has given up 19 rushing touchdowns this season.
Opposing quarterbacks are completing 65% of their passes against the Red Raiders for an average of 289.7 yards per game. Texas Tech has given up 15 passing touchdowns on the season while picking off eight passes.
Freshman linebacker Dakota Allen leads the team with 62 total tackles. Tech has registered seven total sacks with three players on the team recording two each, Pete Robertson is one of them and has a team-high 8.5 tackles for loss. Senior J.J. Gaines is the team's ball hawk. He's registered four of their eight interceptions.
While you certainly don't want to belittle what Tech is able to do with their offense, it's no secret that their defense has been the culprit this season. It's also worth noting that their two losses on the season came against the Big 12's two best offenses, and, in defeat, the Red Raiders scored 52 against TCU and 35 against Baylor.
The key for Oklahoma on Saturday will be winning the turnover battle. The Sooners absolutely will not want to give Tech extra possessions on offense.