All plays matter but some end up factoring into the game more than others. Here are the five plays that told the story in Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech.
OU 63, Texas Tech 27
Play No. 1: Striker’s first pick
The Sooners were starting to find their rhythm midway through the first quarter and were up 7-0. Tech was mounting a drive when Eric Striker did something he has never done before – make an interception.
Striker jumped up in the air looking to deflect the ball but instead caught it and returned it 33 yards down to the Texas Tech 3 yard line.
Going into this game, what seemed to be clear was that OU was going to need a couple of turnovers to win this one. The Sooners ended up getting four picks from Patrick Mahomes and never let the talented quarterback get into a rhythm.
Play No. 2: Baxter coughs it up
This play isn’t good for OU, but it was crucial. The Sooners were cruising and up 21-3 less than five minutes into the second quarter. Quarterback Baker Mayfield found Jarvis Baxter in the middle of the field for a nice gain that would have put the Sooners in the red zone, but he fumbled.
In a span of four minutes, the game went from a possible 28-3 score to 21-17 and everybody getting a little bit nervous in Norman.
Baxter has been a great blocker for the Sooners, but this isn’t the first time where he’s had issues either catching the ball or putting it on the ground. How much of a factor he plays going forward will be interesting to watch.
Play No. 3: Austin saves the day
The final drive of the first half was pivotal for both teams. OU led 28-17 with the Red Raiders knocking on the door.
With a first-and-10 at the OU 20, Mahomes tried to make a big-time splash. Problem was backup cornerback Dakota Austin was ready for it.
Austin did a great of job of playing the receiver and the ball to earn his first interception of the season. Austin caught it deep in the end zone. He admitted he wanted to try to return it, but it was the much wiser choice to take a knee and go to halftime.
Play No. 4: Perine breaks one
A Tech field goal in the third quarter narrowed the gap to 35-20 for the Sooners when running back Samaje Perine got loose for a 48-yard run.
It’s not really the run, necessarily, but more about the game Perine had and the fact he was finally able to bust out a big run for one of the first times this season.
One thing the Sooners did so well in this game was respond to everything the Raiders threw at them. Whenever the game was getting close, OU was able to answer.
This was another one of those times as Perine’s run eventually set up a 6-yard touchdown for Perine. When it was all said and done, Perine had 201 yards and four touchdowns.
Play No. 5: Mixon keeps it going
With less than five minutes left in the third quarter, it sure felt like we were getting ready for an all-out track meet.
OU was up 42-27, but the Red Raiders’ two drives in the third quarter had resulted in 10 points and now OU faced a third-and-11 at its 34 yard line.
A screen was called to Joe Mixon, who not only made a nice grab, was able to turn it up field, break tackles and go 13 yards for the first down.
It was a big game for Mixon, who rushed for a career-high 154 yards and two touchdowns as OU rushed for 405 yards in the game and took care of business in the second half.