Bob Przybylo/Scout

Setting the stage: OU at Texas Tech

Setting the stage one more time for OU at Texas Tech this weekend.

Each week Sooners Illustrated will set the stage for every game of Oklahoma’s 2016 season. This time around OU heads to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.

OU (4-2, 3-0) at Texas Tech (3-3, 1-2)

When: 7 p.m. CST

TV: FOX

Przybylo’s final thought

Another week and another time where it feels like OU’s opponent is going to be playing as desperate as it possibly can.

Saw this two weeks ago against Texas when Charlie Strong became the defensive coordinator. And coming off an uninspired outing against West Virginia last week, you’ve heard Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury talk about re-evaluating everything heading into this one.

So will the desperation lead to different results? Or has the Tech team officially gone indifferent to this season and just playing the string out?

The question lingers about the shoulder of quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Because even at less than 100 percent, he just has that certain kind of special ability to make things happen when they’re not there. You can’t teach it.

And even though he’s not practicing, the competitive fire mode kicks in during the game and you see Mahomes do everything he can to help the Raiders. Going against a secondary as uneven as the Sooners, this still could be a classic Mahomes outing.

What OU was able to do last year vs. Mahomes was create turnovers. That has to happen again here. OU’s defense needs to start being a lot more consistent in that department or else you’re looking at another 52-49 type of game.

The offense found its groove last week vs. Kansas State. This is the week of the defense.

Player to watch

No beating around the bush. Freshman cornerback Jordan Parker. No idea if he actually played well vs. Kansas State or if the simple fact is the Wildcats had zero weapons in the passing game to make a freshman look like a freshman. That won’t be the case this time around. Mahomes is tricky. His receivers are incredibly talented. If Parker is a cut above, we’ll find out. If he struggles, yea, we’re going to find that out, too.

Prediction

It’s so hard to envision the Sooners offense ever being stopped even without Samaje Perine. At the same time, so tough to see OU blanketing those receivers so Mahomes has an off night. This is going to be a Big 12 shootout so strap in and get ready. The Sooners rise to the occasion in the second half to come out with a, let’s say 41-33 win.


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