OU-Texas Tech Pregame Notes

The Sooners (7-2, 4-1) and Red Raiders (6-4, 3-3) will kick-off at 6 p.m. Saturday night. Oklahoma leads the all-time series 10-3 overall and 5-1 in Norman. See inside for more pregame notes, including quotes from Bob Stoops, Brent Venables, Kevin Wilson, Jackie Sherrill and Pat Jones previewing the matchup.

6 p.m. CST. -- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (82,112) -- Norman, Okla.
Saturday's game will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Net. Joel Meyers (play-by-play), Dave Lapham (analyst) and Jim Knox (sideline) will call the game. The game can be heard on the radio in Oklahoma on KOKC 1520 AM. It is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 155. To listen to the OU radio broadcast live on the internet with Bob Barry, Sr., Merv Johnson and Mark Rodgers, click the link below and then click the top photo on the page.

Listen Online
Live Stats

The Matchup
Texas Tech (6-4, 3-3) became bowl eligible for the 14th-straight season last weekend with their win over Baylor in in Lubbock, while the Sooners (7-2, 4-1) won their fourth straight game with a 17-16 win at Texas A&M.

For the most part, it's been a Jeckyl and Hyde Tech team in 2006. The Red Raiders scored 30-plus points in wins over SMU and UTEP to begin the season, but then were shutdown in a 12-3 loss at TCU. Tech then bounced back scoring 62 against SE Louisiana and 31 in College Station in a win over A&M, but then were beaten at home by Missouri and held to just six points in a loss at Colorado.

But the Red Raiders quickly rebounded the next week scoring 42 in a road win at Iowa State, then posting 31 first-half points at home against Texas and 55 last week against Baylor.

The key matchup to watch Saturday is how Oklahoma's pass defense (statistically first in the Big 12) performs against the Red Raiders' passing attack, which is tops in the conference. Tech also leads the nation in protecting the quarterback allowing just 1.4 sacks per game and one sack per every 36 pass attempts.

FSN Analyst Jackie Sherrill on the matchup
"Well, you've got a lot of memories you remember last year, especially on the goal line. I don't know how much that's going to play in it, but certainly that's in the back of their (Oklahoma) mind.

"What I like about Oklahoma at this time is the defense is playing a lot better. They're chasing the ball better, their secondary is playing much better. Rufus Alexander is back to being Rufus Alexander.

"Offensively, they're going downhill. They're doing what the young offensive linemen can do, and that is come off the football. And (Allen) Patrick, right now, probably is the best back in the conference with what he's doing. It's given Oklahoma a chance to make first downs and put points on the board.

"Now when we talk about Texas Tech, Texas Tech has been on a roller-coaster. They have played well, but they have also played poorly. But right now, it looks like they've been playing well. They've got all four receivers back. (Joel) Filani is back at full-speed and generating a lot of yardage with his catches.

"The game is going to be won with the offensive line and if Patrick is healthy, I would have to pick Oklahoma because they will come off the ball, control the ball and they're going to go downhill.

"In saying that, Bob (Stoops) has squared his jaw and started doing some things defensively that they haven't done in a long time there, which is getting out of the four-man front and going to the three-man front with (C.J.) Ah You playing nose guard with (Calvin) Thibodeaux and (Larry) Birdine playing defensive end and putting in another defensive back.

"They match up defensively, because of their speed, very well against Texas Tech. They will be able to put more pressure on Texas Tech than anybody that they have played so far.

"In saying all that, in the kicking game, you'd have to give the edge to the kicker from Oklahoma and the punter from Texas Tech. But I still think it's going to come down to the offense and defensive linemen, and Oklahoma's got better offensive and defensive linemen right now than Tech does."

FSN analyst Pat Jones on the matchup
"I think OU's really starting to play good defensively, and I think because they'll be able to use their nickel and dime packages most all of the ball game, which they have a nice combination of some three-man rush packages, they'll still be able to get some pressure.

"I think they're settled down in the secondary, I think those guys on the corner look like they're really playing good. So I think OU will have a heck of a good day defensively.

"Having said that, Texas Tech is gonna get their throws. They're gonna hit throws. About a 400-yard day throwing the ball is pretty average for Graham Harrell, and Filani's having a heck of a year. That receiver corp is very good and Shannon Woods, the back, is actually being pretty productive.

"But I think, defensively, OU will play well. And I think Allen Patrick, if he can go and sustain it a pretty good while, I think they'll pound the ball. Sometimes time of possession is not unusually important, but I think in a game like this if OU can keep it away from Tech's offense it will certainly help matters."

The Series
Oklahoma leads the all-time series 10-3. They have won five of the last six meetings and are 5-1 against the Red Raiders in Norman.

The Rankings
The Sooners are ranked No. 17 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Top 25 Polls. Texas Tech is unranked.

The Coaches
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is 82-18 in his eighth season in Norman and 6-1 against A&M. Aggie head coach Mike Leach is 54-32 in his seventh season in Lubbock. Leach, who was Oklahoma's offensive coordinator in 1999, is just just 1-5 head-to-head against Stoops. Overall, Stoops is 5-2 against Tech.

Senior Day
Before the game Oklahoma will honor 11 Sooner seniors, which is the smallest graduating class in the Stoops era. The 11 players who will be playing in their final home game against Tech are: Quarterback Paul Thompson, offensive lineman Chris Messner, linebackers Rufus Alexander and Zach Latimer, defensive ends C.J. Ah You, Laenar Nixon, Calivin Thibodeaux and Larry Birdine, defensive back Jason Carter and John Bailey and defensive tackle Carl Pendleton.

About Texas Tech
Offensively, the Red Raiders currently rank 15th nationally in scoring offense (32.42 ppg) and 6th in total offense (455.9 ypg). They are 3rd nationally and 1st in the Big 12 in passing offense (375.5 ypg) and 111th in rushing offense (80.4 ypg).

Defensively, Tech is 65th in scoring defense (22.7 ppg) and 40th in total defense (304.4 ypg). They are 66th in rushing defense (140.9 ypg) and 17th in passing defense (163.5 ypg).

Punter Alex Reyes averages 44.9 yards per punt (long of 61). Kicker Alex Trlica is 10-for-14 on field goals (long of 49) and 40-for-40 on extra points.

Roster | Depth Chart | Stats | Schedule/Results | Notes

About Oklahoma
Offensively, the Sooners currently rank 25th nationally in scoring offense (29.33 ppg) and 40th in total offense (363.44 ypg). They are 80th in passing offense (180.0 ypg) and 20th in rushing offense (183.44 ypg).

Defensively, Oklahoma is 15th in scoring defense (15.22 ppg) and 14th nationally and tops in the Big 12 in total defense (277.11 ypg). The Sooners are 46th in rushing defense (120.67 ypg) and 13th in passing defense (156.44 ypg).

Punter Michael Cohen averages 40.9 yards per punt, while Mike Knall averages 33.7. Kicker Garrett Hartley is 15-for-16 on field goal attempts (long of 46) and a perfect 31-for-31 on extra points.

Roster | Depth Chart | Stats | Schedule/Results | Notes

Bob Stoops on Texas Tech
"Mike (Leach) does a great job. Everybody knows and understands that. We all have great respect for him and the way they play at Tech, so we've got to make some strong improvement here this week to put ourself in position to win.

"It isn't just one guy, it's everybody together being more consistent (on Texas QB Graham Harrell's play). He's playing really well, but the guys around him are playing really well too.

"You have to play well against them (Tech's offense). As much as anything, it kinda gets back to kinda like the triple option. This is a different way, but they're going to have people spread out. We gotta be disciplined to recognize routes, cover them, make plays when they throw the ball and be able to break on it. If he (quarterback) pulls it down, be able to close on him.

"We've got to blitz and be able to get to him before somebody can work open, because you're missing some people in your coverage. It gets down to who's going to execute. Mike doesn't make any secret about what he does. It isn't like he's trying to fool anybody. He's always prided himself on executing, and they execute well. You have to execute with them defensively to stop them.

"They're a basic 4-3 cover four team (on Tech's defense). A little bit of three-deep as well, so similar structure to what they've always done and what you see a fair amount of from everybody anymore.

Kevin Wilson on Tech's Defense
"They're big up front, real strong — 4-3 defense. Bend but not break just like A&M. Maybe they support their safeties a little bit more in the run, but they make you snap it again.

"They pick their spots to blitz. They're not by any means a very junky defense. They're very under-appreciated defensively. If you look at their stats, they're 3, 4, 5, 6, in almost every stat in the conference in defense whether it be run defense, pass defense, points allowed, scoring conversions. They're a very good defense.

"I think because of Mike and their offense you always talk about how wide open they are, but they changed about three seasons ago and became more of a let's be sound, let's be solid and let's play hard defense and not give up the big play. They make you go the distance and make you earn it.

"Last year everybody made a big deal about some of the calls at the end of the game. Well, I watched last year's tape and thought they physically took it to us and beat us up front. We didn't block well, we weren't very physical, we didn't run the ball like you needed to run.

"We lost offensively as much as any calls because their defense got after us. That's what I see when I watched last year's tape, and that's what I see when I watch these guys. They have two big, strong tackles, one very good defensive end, another big d-end. They're a little bit more inexperienced than they were last year. They lost their two really good safeties, a couple backers, but they play great group defense.

"I think it will be a little bit like it was Saturday (against A&M). We might have some success, but can we sustain it for 60 minutes? They'll play a style that makes you snap it again, snap it again, snap it again and keep coming."

Brent Venables on Tech's Offense
"You have a good familiarity with it (on OU's familiarity on Tech's offense having coached with Mike Leach and played against it the last six seasons). The longer you're away from it though, the more you have to get yourself re-acquainted with it come game week. So, you know some intricacies of it.

"It's kinda like an option offense though. They do what they do and it comes down to execution. They try to wear you down mentally as much as they do physically. They'll do the same things over and over and over, and pretty soon they count on you springing a leak and breaking down.

"They're talented and really match up well with most people now. Early on in their time at Tech, they had to recruit their guys. Now they have their guys and that's why they're very explosive.

"They make even good people, for example Texas, work their fannies off to defend them, and even then it's not good enough. Against three pretty good teams the last three weeks, they've had their way with them.

"Familiarity is one thing, but your players have to have the same type of familiarity. It comes down to your players' recognition and the players' ability to execute that's going to make a difference on gameday."

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories