Pressing Questions: Oklahoma at Texas Tech

Now that the Oregon Ducks have been knocked off the BCS race is wide open and the Sooners looks to have an inside track to the National Championship game if they can take care of business and run the table. This week we take a look at some of the Pressing Questions heading in to the Texas Tech game.

Can Oklahoma slow down the Texas Tech offensive attack?

To the outside observer it would appear that by Tech's record that they are having a down year offensively, but that is definitely not the case. Outside of the letdown against Missouri and Tech has had success moving the ball up and down the field on anyone and everyone.

The Tech offense averages 540 yards of offense per game and while most consider this offense dink and dunk the past couple of years they have shown that they are not afraid to throw the deep ball. One thing that the Oklahoma defense has had a lot of success with when playing Tech is making them a one dimensional team, but Tech is as one dimensional as it gets already. They only average 60 yards per game on the ground, so they just throw and throw and throw.

Tech will also feature a couple of great receivers in Michael Crabtree and Danny Amendola who are on the verge of becoming only the second set of team members in NCAA history to each record 100 plus receptions in the same season. Crabtree leads the nation with 113 catches, while Amendola is among the top five with 94.

"Basically we have to get to the quarterback," OU defensive lineman Gerald McCoy said of the pressure that needs to be implemented upon Tech QB Graham Harrell. "He is passing for 445 yards a game or so and Coach Venables told us there is no reason we can't keep him from doing that. Just because he is has done it every game, doesn't mean we can't stop him."

Will Auston English Play?

Conventional wisdom would say that there is probably no way that English could come back after getting a rod inserted in to his foot, but it is hard to predict what any player will feel like on a game day.

There is no doubt that an absolute warrior like English will want to play, and the Sooners would love to have his pass rush presence on the field, but with some even bigger games on the horizon in the Bedlam game and the Big 12 Championship game it may be best to have him sit this one out.

Will this team play a great game on the road this year?

The team has not played a road game this year that they could actually consider anywhere near to fundamentally sound. They got beat in Colorado, and struggled at times in the match-ups with Tulsa and Iowa State.Texas Tech is a good home team and the toughest place that the Sooners have played in all year.

"We are going down to Texas Tech, which is another big challenge," OU coach Bob Stoops informed. "Offensively, like every year, they are very productive in moving and throwing the football. They are very consistent and very good. It is another big challenge going down there and another important game for us."

The team will need to be on their game from a technical standpoint to pull off their stiffest road challenge.

Will Oklahoma Cover the Spread?

This is one of the toughest games to predict because all of the signs point that Tech should cover this game, but the Sooner inside wants to believe that this team will be ready to step up to the challenge.

OU has played horribly on the road and Tech is at their best when playing in Lubbock. Since the 2003 season Mike Leach's squad is 25-5 at home. They have had one slip up already when Colorado came in and put them on the ropes early. Tech battled back to make it close, but it was too little too late.

One other area of concern is the fact that the Sooners seemed susceptible to some big plays against this style of offense last weekend. Baylor was able to run the ball effectively and took advantage of some of the weaknesses in the middle of the field.

Bob Stoops seems to have had some success in managing his former assistants offense and Oklahoma should win, but this one is going to be a fun one to watch.

Prediction: Oklahoma 43, Texas Tech 35


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories