Five questions: Oklahoma

Breaking down Texas Tech's game against Oklahoma with some assistance from publisher Bob Przybylo.

1. How big is the rest of this season for Bob Stoops? It seems hard to believe but after big losses in the Cotton Bowl and the Red River Rivalry, is his job in jeopardy?
It's not all that big in the long term. Stoops isn't going anywhere unless he chooses he wants to go somewhere else. He's not in the hot seat at all. Some fans will argue it's time for him to go, but he's not in any danger with the Board of Regents or anything like that. A win Saturday or against Baylor would help alleviate some of the national perception that the Sooners no longer win the big game. In some of the big showcase battles in the last couple of seasons, OU has fallen short. This weekend is also a pretty big recruiting weekend so a win couldn't hurt in that department, either.

2. How good is this Oklahoma secondary? How does it match up against Texas Tech's receivers?
The OU secondary is about as good as it has been in a while. Everybody knows about senior cornerback Aaron Colvin, but it has been the emergence of redshirt freshman cornerback Zack Sanchez that has really changed things. The safety spot is anchored by two seniors in Quentin Hayes and Gabe Lynn. Nobody has had a more love-hate relationship with the fans than Lynn, but he has been sensational this season. The only issue lately has been their inability to create turnovers. Sanchez, in particular, has dropped at least three or four interceptions this season.

3. What's the effect of the season ending injuries to Jordan Phillips and Corey Nelson? Who's replaced them?
The effect is huge and cannot be understated. OU's defense was so solid, but it's not deep. Any injury really impacts this defense, especially at defensive tackle and linebacker. Phillips was a giant question mark going into the season, and he had been great. Nelson was playing like the senior leader he was supposed to be. Redshirt freshman Jordan Wade is coming along and doing the job for Phillips, while freshman Dominique Alexander is filling in for Nelson. As you can see, somebody goes down, most likely a freshman has to come in and take their place. It has really hurt in OU's run defense. Texas and Kansas both gashed the Sooners going straight up the middle.

4. What does Oklahoma have to do in order to hand Texas Tech its first loss of the season?
Stop the run. OK, it has to do more than that, but the Sooners have to start being physical on the defensive line again. OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops knows teams are going to continue to run it down his club's throat until it proves it can stop the attack. Offensively it's going to be about the start. Bob Stoops wants a great atmosphere? He knows he has to give those fans a reason to cheer. Lately OU has struggled coming out of the gate. A fast start would get Owen Field rocking and might give Blake Bell even more confidence.

5. What kind of atmosphere are you expecting Saturday at Owen Field? Is this matchup moving the needle in Norman?
It's starting to. It really wasn't resonating at all until Bob Stoops challenged the fans at his weekly press conference to recreate the 2008 game. Of course that was the night of one of the best atmospheres ever in the Stoops era and a 65-21 victory against the Red Raiders. The Texas loss deflated a lot of OU fans so interest wasn't all that high, especially after an uninspired win at Kansas last weekend. It's picking up steam with each passing day, and OU has a chance to beat top 10 teams in back-to-back games. The Sooners are at Baylor on Nov. 7.

Raider Power Top Stories