If you love classic Big 12 shootouts, No. 7 Oklahoma’s road trip to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech should be exactly what you’re looking for. The point total is 77.5 and both teams have been crushing it with the over throughout the course of the season. For Oklahoma, this is the toughest test on paper until the regular season-ending game at West Virginia. For Texas Tech, there’s a chance to recapture some of that Lubbock magic that’s been missing in recent years.
Throughout this week, there’s been a lot of recollection about the 2016 Oklahoma-Texas Tech game featuring quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Pat Mahomes, and 1,708 combined yards. While this edition of the game doesn’t feature as much star power, Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray is a bona fide Heisman Trophy contender. Depending on outcomes across the landscape, Murray could launch himself into the top spot of that race.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 3 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Jones AT&T Stadium — Lubbock, Texas
TV: ABC | Live stream: WatchESPN
Oklahoma: We can talk about Murray’s absurd numbers all day long — with a 227 passer rating, he is every bit as efficient as Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, and he’s also on pace to surpass Mayfield’s historically good passing numbers from a year ago — but he’s far from the only stud on this offense. The emergence of running back Kennedy Brooks with Trey Sermon as a complementary piece has rounded out this group. The offensive line is playing as well as any unit in college football.
The question, as it usually is with the Sooners, is the defense. This will be the biggest test since OU moved on from defensive coordinator Mike Stoops following the Texas loss. The Red Raiders run the most plays of any team in the Big 12 (697) and they do so by a country mile. Something else to keep in mind: Texas Tech is 17th in the country in red zone touchdown percentage allowed. Oklahoma is 127th.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are good and still technically on the fringe of the Big 12 Championship Game race. However, if they want to stay in that race and secure that marquee victory for coach Kliff Kingsbury, well, you’re not going to get many opportunities better than this one. Yes, Texas Tech can score, but the real key is going to be avoiding turnovers. In a loss to Iowa State, Texas Tech had three turnovers, including a pick-six, and a safety. If you’re trying to hold serve with one of the best offenses in the country, you can’t stop yourself like that.
Game prediction, picks
This might sound ridiculous come Sunday morning, but Texas Tech’s defense should do well enough in the short end of the field to keep this one close. The bigger question could actually be whether the Red Raiders can avoid the self-inflicted mistakes that make a high-scoring game lopsided. Oklahoma needs to be ready for a get-up game by Texas Tech, but it should have enough big plays to get an impressive win. Pick: Texas Tech +13.5
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