It started as a disaster. Then there were shades of the high-scoring contest in 2016. In the end, the Oklahoma Sooners (8-1, 5-1) managed to escape a raucous environment in Lubbock with a 51-46 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-4, 3-3).
As it was in this matchup two seasons ago, the Sooners’ subpar defense was the biggest takeaway of the game. Starting nickel Brendan Radley-Hiles missed the game with an injury he sustained against Kansas State, but his absence was far from the only reason why Oklahoma struggled to produce stops — particularly when Alan Bowman was in the game. Texas Tech took what Ruffin McNeill’s group gave them all night, and for the most part that resulted in chunk yardage.
On offense, Kyler Murray had his worst start of the season with an interception on his first throw of the game and a second pick in as many drives. Other than that, it was business as usual for the Heisman candidate. For the game, K1 went 20-35 for 360 passing yards and three touchdowns, and ran the ball for 100 yards and another score on 11 carries. Trey Sermon also had himself a career night with 206 yards and three TDs on 26 carries.
Big Time Players. Make Big Time Plays. In Big Time Games.— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) November 4, 2018
Here's a glimpse of Trey Sermon's career-high 2⃣0⃣6⃣-yard rushing yard, 3⃣ TD performance against Texas Tech.#PreachMode | #BoomerSooner | @treyera pic.twitter.com/KG2DRyfmDX
Starting Red Raider QB Alan Bowman was lighting up the scene in the first half with 21-26 passing for 227 yards and three TDs, but was unable to make a go of it after taking a hit to the side just before intermission. Backup Jett Duffey played the rest of the way and was much more inconsistent than his predecessor, finishing 9-17 for 139 yards with two scores.
Texas Tech QB Alan Bowman was transported to Covenant Medical Center to be evaluated for a reoccurrence of his previous injury (partially collapsed lung) that occurred in against West Virginia. He will be held overnight for observation— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 4, 2018
It was an extremely chippy game throughout the night, as players on both sides were involved in several verbal exchanges. Fortunately for the Sooners, no players were removed for the game for an excessive amount of unsportsmanlike penalties — although Cody Ford certainly appeared to deserve it at one point.
After falling down 14-0, Murray and Oklahoma’s offense settled in and played their game. Lee Morris was able to get the Sooners on the board first with this 16-yard touchdown.
Lincoln Riley would probably admit to mismanaging the game towards the end of the first half, drawing up big plays instead of focusing on moving the chains. As a result, the Sooners went into the half down 31-28 without having a chance to tie up the game with a field goal.
Austin Seibert reached some major milestones as he is now the Big 12 and NCAA record-holder for the most extra points made and attempted in a career.
As previously mentioned, the night was not one to remember for the defense, but there were a few bright spots, including this mega thump from Mark Jackson to force a Red Raider punt.
In the fourth, after a Texas Tech fourth down conversion for a TD, Robert Barnes picked off the would-be tying two-point conversion attempt and ran it back for two, giving Oklahoma a 44-40 lead.
In the end, the Sooners held on for a gutsy win. This was the third straight game Riley’s offense has eclipsed the 50-point mark. Up next, Oklahoma returns home to the Palace on the Prairie on Nov. 10 for the 113th edition of Bedlam. Mike Gundy and the Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-4, 2-4) have struggled after a 3-0 start to the season, but there will still be plenty of excitement surrounding this one.
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