It’s not as long as one would think, but the history between Texas Tech and Oklahoma features no love lost.
Although closer to each other in proximity than they are to most other FBS schools, Texas Tech and Oklahoma have met on the gridiron a total of 21 times. The Sooners have taken many of those opportunities to pummel Texas Tech.
On the other hand, the Red Raiders love throwing a monkey wrench into Oklahoma’s glorified history and national championship plans.
Since the series started, Tech has featured just two losing seasons. The first one came in 1992 and had the Red Raiders scheduled someone weaker than Oklahoma for a non-conference opponent, Tech may have been bowl eligible that season. For 20 consecutive seasons afterwards, Tech would be bowl eligible.
Tech would struggle in the first few games of the series, including the 1993 John Hancock Bowl (a former sponsor of the Sun Bowl). One thing Oklahoma is known for is winning in Norman under Bob Stoops, which Texas Tech may have ruined. (We’ll talk more about this later). In 1996, Tech defeated the Oklahoma Sooners. This Oklahoma team was not coached by Bob Stoops, and struggled mightily under John Blake.
It wouldn’t be long until Bob Stoops arrived in Norman though. In fact, Tech beat the Sooners in the first matchup during the Stoops era in 1999. Stoops had a great mind at offensive coordinator too. The Red Raiders would hire Oklahoma offensive coordinator Mike Leach not long after the Red Raiders beat the Sooners. It was a magical day too. This was the final game of the Spike Dykes era. Tech not only won the game their most successful ball coach, at the time, but the quarterback is a familiar face too. A redshirt freshman named Kliff Kingsbury made his first career start one week after Rob Peters suffered an injury. Kingsbury has mentioned his first start as his favorite football memory on numerous occasions.
Mentor Bob Stoops would continually school student Mike Leach during the first five years of his career though. The Sooners owned Tech winning by double digit points each of these five season, including a 60-15 victory in Norman which haunts Tech fans to this day. The Red Raiders had just upset No.4 Texas and controlled their own destiny for a trip to the Big 12 Championship Game. The Sooners humiliated Tech, and it wouldn’t be the last time either.
The team wearing scarlet and black would end a five-game losing skid in the series in 2005. This game is still disputed by Oklahoma fans, and may continue to be for a long time. On the final play of the game, Tech running back Taurean Henderson reached across the goal line and the officials ruled Henderson had crossed the plane. The touchdown gave Tech a 23-21 victory and Sooners fans still feel he had not crossed. Tech’s media relations department would use the picture of Henderson reaching across the goal line to promote ticket sales the next year using the phrase, “He’s in. Are you?”
Since the 2005 victory, Texas Tech has not dropped a game in the series in Lubbock during the month of November.
It would be 2007 when Tech truly played spoiler though. The Sooners entered Lubbock with one loss during a year in which every time ended up with at least one. Oklahoma had national championship aspirations and a future Heisman Trophy winning quarterback in Sam Bradford. Tech knocked out Bradford early with a concussion. The Red Raiders took full advantage and pounded Oklahoma throughout the game. The Sooners would eventually bring the score closer than what it seemed, but Tech completely humiliated a top-five Sooners team.
It would not be forgotten.
An undefeated No.2 Texas Tech team would enter a hostile Norman, Okla. the next year. Oklahoma had one loss, to a Texas team who was No.1 until Tech beat them in Lubbock. It was a three-way race in the Big 12 Conference and a victory for either team meant the driver’s seat for not only the Big 12 Championship appearance, but the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.
Again, like in 2002, Tech was humiliated with a conference championship on the line. The loss significantly hurt the value of Texas Tech’s biggest victory in program history. A 63-25 shellacking at the hands of the Sooners while Oklahoma’s stadium blasted “Jump Around” by House of Pain. Any Texas Tech fan reading this paragraph may very well be reliving the nightmare and broken a household item. It is the game that brings more pain to Tech fans than any game in program history.
The Red Raiders have since scored a pair of victories in the series. The pain eased a bit in 2009 when Mike Leach won his final game at Jones AT&T Stadium before being fired for “insubordination”. Again, “Jump Around” by House of Pain played, only this time it was the Tech faithful dancing around and hopping all over the place. This victory made Mike Leach the most winningest coach in Tech history. As he went up the tunnel for the final time, Leach threw his two guns up to the crowd and walked off the Jones AT&T Stadium turf forever.
Tech’s latest victory in the series is often pointed to as when the demise of Sooner football under Bob Stoops started. Recently, there have been rumors about Stoops being fired.
While the rumors have been lit, the Sooners would be insane to send the head coach packing. The entire Big 12 Conference would breathe a sigh of relief and a good reason why is because the Sooners featured only two home losses during Stoops’ first 11 years.
Tech shattered a 39-game home win streak in 2011 with a 41-38 victory over then-No.1 Oklahoma. Don’t let the score fool you either. Much like in 2007, Tech dominated from the starting gates. The Red Raiders held a 24-7 lead at halftime and entered the fourth quarter with a 31-17 lead.
The Sooners have dropped four games at home since Oct. 22, 2011.
Tech has yet to win in the series since the 2011 victory. The one-time Big 12 South Division rivals will square off again 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock.
Sept. 3, 1992 in Lubbock: Oklahoma 34, Texas Tech 9
Dec. 24, 1993 in El Paso: Oklahoma 41, Texas Tech 10 (John Hancock Bowl)
Sept. 17, 1994 in Norman: Oklahoma 17, Texas Tech 11
Nov. 23, 1996 in Norman: Texas Tech 22, Oklahoma 12
Nov. 22, 1997 in Lubbock: Oklahoma 32, Texas Tech 21
Nov. 21, 1998 in Norman: Oklahoma 20, Texas Tech 17
Nov. 20, 1999 in Lubbock: Texas Tech 38, Oklahoma 28
Nov. 18, 2000 in Norman: Oklahoma 28, Texas Tech 13
Nov. 17, 2001 in Lubbock: Oklahoma 30, Texas Tech 13
Nov. 23, 2002 in Norman: Oklahoma 60, Texas Tech 15
Nov. 22, 2003 in Lubbock: Oklahoma 56, Texas Tech 25
Oct. 2, 2004 in Norman: Oklahoma 28, Texas Tech 13
Nov. 19, 2005 in Lubbock: Texas Tech 23, Oklahoma 21
Nov. 11, 2006 in Norman: Oklahoma 34, Texas Tech 24
Nov. 17, 2007 in Lubbock: Texas Tech 34, Oklahoma 27
Nov. 22, 2008 in Norman: Oklahoma 65, Texas Tech 21
Nov. 21, 2009 in Lubbock: Texas Tech 41, Oklahoma 13
Nov. 13, 2010 in Norman: Oklahoma 45, Texas Tech 7
Oct. 22, 2011 in Norman: Texas Tech 41, Oklahoma 38
Oct. 6, 2012 in Lubbock: Oklahoma 41, Texas Tech 20
Oct. 26, 2013 in Norman: Oklahoma 38, Texas Tech 30
Texas Tech-Oklahoma Series History
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