Our game by game season preview of Texas Tech carries on, as they travel to Norman for a matchup against Big 12 favorite Oklahoma.
The storylines entering this games should be entertaining. For one, it’s Baker Mayfield’s last rodeo against his former school and head coach who his dad infamously called a “scoundrel.” The game will also be an encore of 2016’s record-breaking shootout which saw he Sooners edge the Red Raiders 66-59.
Oklahoma enters the 2017 season with question marks at the skill positions following the departures of Dede Westbrook, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine. Nevertheless, they’re likely to reload and contend for another conference title while Texas Tech tries to scrape up enough wins to become bowl eligible. The Sooners will very likely enter the game as heavy favorites.
Texas Tech has a knack for upsetting opponents, and has a particularly noteworthy recent history with Oklahoma. Tech defeated OU in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and ended Oklahoma’s 41-game home win streak in 2011.
A lot of things have to fall just right for Texas Tech. If Lincoln Riley (a Texas Tech graduate and former assistant coach) struggles in his first year as a head coach, OU overlooks Tech and/or the Sooners fall victim to injuries, you never know what could happen.
Texas Tech failed to apply any pressure to Baker Mayfield last season, resulting in a near flawless offensive attack for OU. If they want a chance at reversing the outcome this year, forcing Mayfield into tough throws and coming away with sacks are crucial.
The only reason Texas Tech was competitive in this game last year was Patrick Mahomes. He broke an NCAA record by racking up 819 total yards and tied the record for passing yards in a game with 734. Without that production, it would have been a blowout.
For Texas Tech to have a chance, they’ll need an explosive offensive attack yet again, an improved pass rush and a little bit of luck. That’s a relatively tall order against a team competing for a Big 12 championship.
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