The No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners improve to 4-0 with a 55-16 demolition of the 2-2 (0-1) Texas Tech Red Raiders to open Big 12 play. Lincoln Riley’s offense was scintillating as usual, and Alex Grinch’s defense put forth arguably its most impressive performance of 2019.
With this victory, Oklahoma becomes the sixth FBS program to reach 900 wins all-time. Riley also improves to 13-0 in the month of September as the Sooners’ head coach. Now the calendar flips to October, and the path to the College Football Playoff steepens.
Just before the game, news broke that starting kicker Calum Sutherland would not be available after a public intoxication arrest last Saturday. Gabe Brkic stepped up in his place and held down the fort, going two-for-two on field goals and making all seven extra points.
In the first half, things could not have gone much better for the OU offense. The Sooners never punted, and scored on all six possessions. Jalen Hurts picked up where he left off two weeks ago against UCLA, completing 17 of 24 passes for 415 yards, three touchdowns and his first INT of the season on the day. The primary recipients on the other end of those figures were CeeDee Lamb and Charleston Rambo, who in the first half alone recorded 120 and 122 receiving yards, respectively.
Speaking of Lamb, coming into the season, he was billed as the Sooners’ No. 1 receiving target, and rightfully so. However, through the first three games of the season, his numbers did not exactly reflect that due to opposing defenses placing their attention on him. None of that mattered today, as the junior WR balled out by hauling in seven catches for 185 yards and three scores.
Not only does OU lead the nation in offensive efficiency, this group has yet to be kept off the board for a single quarter. Through four games, the Sooners are averaging 55.5 points per game, and have scored in all 16 quarters of the 2019 season. Not too shabby.
Meanwhile on the other side of the ball, Alex Grinch’s defense feasted on Texas Tech’s backup QBs. Jackson Tyner got the start, but after a couple possessions, it was obvious that he was not going to find success against the Sooners’ stout front. Tech coach Matt Wells eventually called Jett Duffey’s number, and although he led the Red Raiders on a couple scoring drives, it wasn’t pretty. In fact, for the game, TTU wound up converting only 1 of 14 third downs.
Redshirt senior DT Neville Gallimore aka ‘Big Canada’ forced OU’s lone takeaway on this incredible hustle play.
Late in the third, true freshman Trejan Bridges came in at safety for the first time after it was discovered earlier in the week that the WR had been working with the defensive backs. While he showed a natural tenacity during his limited time on the field, he was tagged with a holding and a facemask call that allowed Texas Tech’s struggling offense to move the chains. Still, he showed a glimpse of his potential as a DB if he continues to receive reps and opportunities.
Next, Oklahoma travels north of the Sooner State border to tussle with Kansas. The 2-3 (0-2) Jayhawks have shown some improvement in Les Miles’ first year as head coach, but the talent disparity between KU and most other teams in the Big 12 is still quite stark. As for OU, its 21-game true road game winning streak will be on the line for the first time in conference play.
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