Oklahoma Report Card

There's no getting around the fact that Texas Tech's defense was not up to the task against the Oklahoma Sooners. Coming off of a subpar performance last week against West Virginia, the once stout Tech defense is turning into a question mark yet again.

There's no getting around the fact that Texas Tech's defense was not up to the task against the Oklahoma Sooners. OU's strength all season has been its defense, while the offense was the handmaiden. West Virginia held the Sooners to 16 points. Texas held them to 20. Heck, Louisiana-Monroe and Kansas held them to 34. But against the Red Raiders, Oklahoma rang up 38 points. Coming off of a subpar performance last week against West Virginia, the once stout Tech defense is turning into a question mark yet again.

Quarterbacks: If nothing else, Davis Webb is one tough hombre. The Sooners belted him around pretty good, but Webb stood his ground in the pocket and fired his shots without concern for his own wellbeing. Aside from that toughness, Webb certainly played well enough to win this game. He may have been too amped to start the game because several of his passes were high. But Webb settled in quickly enough and thenceforward played a very good game. One of his two interceptions was a ball Eric Ward arguably should have caught.
Grade: B+

Running Backs: Finally a Tech running back other than Quinton White averaged more than four yards a carry. In fact, Deandre Washington did much better than that, averaging 5.6 yards per tote on 10 carries. His 19-yard sideline, tightrope jaunt in the middle of the third quarter was the best single run by a Tech back this season. Kenny Williams, however, was held in check for the most part.
Grade: B-

Receivers: Jace Amaro put up his customary great numbers, but also dropped a pass—lately he's been dropping one per game—and had a critical fumble. Similarly, Eric Ward's day looked good in the stat sheet, but a ball that bounced off his hands found its way into the hands of OU's Gabe Lynn. Jakeem Grant was the best receiver on the field for Tech. Bradley Marquez had trouble shaking Aaron Colvin.
Grade: B-

Offensive Line: Pass protection early on—particularly by Le'Raven Clark—was terrible, but improved considerably as the game wore on. The Sooners pelted Davis Webb a few times in the second half, but sacked him only once. Run blocking was good when the Red Raiders finally got around to running it. Jared Kaster has been a penalty machine all season, and committed a couple more against OU.
Grade: B+

Defensive Line: Kerry Hyder began the game like a house afire, disrupting the OU offense and blocking a field goal. But then Gabe Ikard, with double-team help from his guards, neutralized Hyder. That was rather the story for the entire line. It was impressive in the first quarter, but basically overmatched the rest of the way. Surprise starter Dennell Wesley played a pretty good game, but that obviously wasn't enough. Tech got zero sacks and not a whole lot of pressure on Blake Bell.
Grade: D+

Linebackers: Micah Awe was rocking Sooners all game long, Sam Eguavoen and Will Smith quietly had good games, and Pete Robertson delivered strong play in the early going. Terrance Bullitt got burned a couple of times in coverage early in the game. Overall, though, it was a strong, physical performance by the linebackers. Too bad they didn't get much help from the guys up front.
Grade: B

Secondary: Blake Bell threw for 249 yards on only 14 completions and was not intercepted once. Heck, Tech never came close to picking him off. Given that Bell will never be confused for Dan Marino, this is not a good thing. And it seemed like whenever the Sooners were faced with 3rd-and-long, they managed to complete a pass for the necessary yardage. Tre Porter and Bruce Jones were active against the run, but that cannot make up for a pretty sorry performance.
Grade: D

Special Teams: The onsides kick was a stroke of brilliance and was executed perfectly. Likewise with a Tanner Jacobson misdirection punt return for 30 yards. Ryan Bustin dutifully banged home a 34-yarder and Ryan Erxleben nestled a punt at the three. Kickoff coverage was pretty good and Kerry Hyder snuffed a 53-yard field goal attempt.
Grade: A+

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