Preview: Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech

Big game this weekend for the Red Raiders coming off two straight losses, but it's in Norman against the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners.

Fresh off a close loss to Kansas State, Texas Tech makes the trip to Norman, Oklahoma to face the Sooners. Once again, Bob Stoops has a top flight team that should be a major player in the national title race. The prospect of facing an elite team will be a good barometer for this young bunch of Red Raiders. Staying with the Sooners is perhaps a monumental task, but it should also be a welcome challenge. If Tech can minimize mistakes, the Red Raiders should be in the game after halftime. Avoiding a major blowout will give this year's team some much needed confidence as it faces the Big 12 gauntlet.

Oklahoma is led by junior QB Landry Jones. Through the first half of the 2011 season, Jones has completed 171-253 passes for 2,177 yards with 16 TDs and six INTs. Jones has also rushed 12 times for 11 yards and two more scores. Behind him is redshirt sophomore Drew Allen. He is 7-13 for 56 yards with no scores or interceptions.

Dominique Whaley paces the OU rushing attack. The former walk-on has had a great start to the season and is the Sooners' top rushing threat. He has tallied 113 rushes for 627 yards and nine scores. Number two on the list is Brennan Clay. He has 42 rushes for 161 yards and one TD. Roy Finch has 16 carries for 93 yards and the other OU rushing score outside of Whaley, Clay and QB Jones.

Ryan Broyles tops OU's receivers. On the season he has 60 catches for 815 yards and nine scores. Next is Kenny Stills with 27 catches for 330 yards and five scores. Outside of them, only Jaz Reynolds and TE James Hanna have a receiving score for the Sooners.

Coming off his worst performance as a starter, it will be interesting to see how junior QB Seth Doege responds. Going up against one of the nation's better secondaries is a good challenge for Tech's gifted gunslinger. Expect Doege to be sharp against the Sooners. Through six games, Doege has completed 205 of 290 passes for 2.167 yards with 18 TDs and four INTs.  Backup Jacob Karam and WR Austin Zouzalik each threw a TD pass in the New Mexico game as well.

Aaron Crawford enters his second week as Tech's starting RB. The senior from Tennessee filled in nicely for the injured Eric Stephens against Kansas State. He helped protect Doege and ripped off a 51-yard TD run to establish a new season long run for Tech. Behind Crawford, Tech has the talented freshmen combo of Deandre Washington and Kenny Williams. Washington has 28 rushes for 134 yards and three scores. Williams adds nine rushes for 12 yards and no scores. QB Doege also has decent rushing numbers. He has totaled 30 rushes for 85 yards and a score. Return specialist Ben McRoy left last week's game and did not return, but he too will eventually accumulate some rushing statistics beyond his current total of one carry for nine yards.

Eric Ward leads Tech's receivers. He has 38 catches for 352 yards and 8 scores. Alex Torres is next with 35 receptions for 381 yards and one TD. Cornelius "Corndog" Douglas is next with 21 catches for 273 yards and one score. Injured star Darrin Moore has 21 catches for 339 yards and four TDs. Jacoby Franks, Tramain Swindall, Bradley Marquez and Adam James each have one TD reception apiece and freshman TE Jace Amaro has two. OU's defensive secondary is talented but the Red Raiders should be able to create matchup problems, particularly in the middle of the field and on some deep balls. OU blitzes quite a bit so the receivers will need to expect the ball a little earlier than usual.

After a 45-7 loss to OU last season and a very painful 65-21 defeat in Norman in 2008, to say that Texas Tech doesn't have any fond memories of games at the Gaylord Family Stadium is putting it lightly. In Bob Stoops' entire career at OU, the Sooners have only lost two games in Norman—one to Oklahoma State and one to TCU. Tech's best performance in Norman was a 28-13 loss in 2004 when current WR coach Sonny Cumbie was the signal caller. Even with the possibility of the return of top WR Darrin Moore, the Red Raiders just don't have enough to challenge the Sooners in 2011.

Prediction:

OU: 51

Tech: 17


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