College football is a crazy and unpredictable game. One of the reasons for its volatility is the emotion and the motivational factors that play into it.
Case in point was Texas Tech’s 41-13 victory over Oklahoma in 2009.
The year previously, Mike Leach’s Red Raiders were having the greatest season in school history. Tech was 10-0, ranked No. 2 in the nation, and was cresting, having defeated No. 1 Texas 39-33, and Oklahoma State by a score of 56-20 the previous two weeks. A Red Raider win over Oklahoma in Norman would virtually guarantee Tech a spot in the national championship game.
But the expected shootout turned into an embarrassing rout and Tech was sent packing with 65-21 tattooed across its keister. The dream season immediately took on nightmarish overtones.
Having lost to OU by 44 points only a year prior, what real hope was there that the Red Raiders could reverse their fortunes in 2009, let alone do so in dramatic fashion? But that is precisely what happened as 6-4 Tech pulverized 6-4 Oklahoma by 28 points, Tech’s largest margin of victory over the Sooners to this day. The point swing from 2008 to 2009 was an incredible 72 points.
The contest, which was played before 50,479 partisans in Jones AT&T stadium, was a slow build for the Red Raiders.
Tech got on the scoreboard first on a Matt “Lynwood” Williams field goal of 33 yards with 10:57 remaining in the opening stanza. The Sooners answered with a pair of their own field goals, the second of which gave Oklahoma its only lead of the game with 10:42 still showing on the first half clock.
But consecutive touchdowns by Baron Batch and Austin Zouzalik—on a 21-yard dart from Taylor Potts—gave the Red Raiders a 17-6 lead going into the locker room.
The second half belonged entirely to Texas Tech. In addition to Batch and Williams, Eric Stephens and Alex Torres got into the scoring for the Red Raiders, while OU’s only points came on a 51-yard pass from Landry Jones to Ryan Broyles. But by the time the Sooners struck with the bomb, Tech was already in command by a 34-6 count.
Batch finished the day with 136 rushing yards (OU’s DeMarco Murray had only 14), while Torres reeled in 11 passes for 163 yards besting Broyles’ seven for 117.
This game was notable for a few reasons. To begin with Potts’ jersey did not display his actual name, but instead the substitute “Nick.” Mike Leach felt that his quarterback lacked confidence and that a more masculine name would solve the problem.
Second, with Tech fully in control early in the fourth quarter, the Jones Stadium sound system blared The House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” a ditty the Sooners broke out on the Red Raiders during the previous season’s demolition job on the Red Raiders.
And third, Mike Leach became the winningest football coach in school history with 83 victories. He surpassed his predecessor Spike Dykes with the win over Oklahoma.
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