Joe's Postgame Editorial

The streak is finally over. Unfortunately for Texas Tech, Oklahoma's home winning streak, which now stands at 17 after today's workmanlike 28-13 victory over the Red Raiders is still intact. No, the streak that is no more is the Oklahoma defenses' three-game slide without an interception.

The Sooner defense, led by safety Brodney Pools two thefts, intercepted Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie thrice, sacked him three more times, knocked down six of his passes at the line of scrimmage, forced a fumble on a sack, and generally contained Tech's offense in holding the Raiders to a season low point total.

A second streak, Tech's two-game series of school-best comeback victories is also kaput. True to form, the Raiders fell behind early, manufacturing comeback-opportunity deficits of 0-7 in the first quarter, 3-14 in the second, 6-21 in the third, and 6-28 in the fourth. The come-from-behind voodoo was not in the air today, however, as the Oklahoma defense repeatedly shut down the Raiders when they got into plus territory. The Sooners, on the other hand, made the most of their opportunities.

Both teams sputtered on their opening drives. The Tech defense, which held the potent Sooner attack to a very respectable 372 total yards, threw a three-and-out at Oklahoma to start the game, while Tech, after picking up a pair of first downs, stalled following two straight penalties, which would prove to be the Raiders' only infractions of the afternoon.

Oklahoma's second drive netted seven points on a two-yard plunge by frosh phenom running back Adrian Peterson and Trey DiCarlos' extra point. Peterson, the Sooner bell-cow, set up the touchdown by rocketing 61 yards on a sweep in which Tech safety Chad Johnson was wiped out by a Mark Clayton block, and linebacker Fletcher Session and safety Vincent Meeks missed tackles. Tech's next possession was aborted when Cumbie fumbled on a sack by Oklahoma cornerback Antonio Perkins. The Sooners then proceeded to go nowhere despite starting their drive on the Tech 34 yard line.

Following an Oklahoma punt, which was downed on the Raider one yard line, Tech marched deep into Sooner territory before settling for a 31-yard Alex Trlica field goal. Key plays in the drive included a 22-yard Cumbie-to-Jarrett Hicks strike, and another Cumbie/Hicks combo for 12 yards on third and fourteen, which moved Tech into comfortable field goal range.

Oklahoma responded to the Red Raider challenge in championship fashion. The Sooners drove 67 yards in 12 plays, the last of which was a Jason White pass to wideout Travis Wilson in the back of the end zone behind Tech cornerback Khalid Naziruddin. Peterson had a 27-yard run in the march, which would have gone for six points were it not for a touchdown-saving tackle by Raider cornerback Antonio Huffman. Peterson also coughed up the ball on a run after being hit by linebacker Sylvester Brinkley. Oklahoma recovered, however, and on the next play Peterson gained a yard on fourth-and-one to keep the touchdown drive alive.

Tech's next drive was thwarted when a pressured Cumbie threw directly into the hands of Oklahoma nickel back Brandon Shelby at the Sooner 40 yard line. The Raider defense again rose valiantly, however, and prevented Oklahoma from scoring. Sooner safety Brodney Pool ended the first half by intercepting Cumbie and the score stood at 14-3, Oklahoma. On the preceding play, Cumbie missed an open Nehemiah Glover down the middle of the field for what would have been a certain touchdown.

The Red Raiders opened the second half in good form, marching from their own 20 yard line to the Oklahoma three before stalling. On fourth-and-goal from there, Tech coach Mike Leach opted for three points, and Trlica again delivered, nailing a 20-yard field goal. Senior inside receiver Trey Haverty, who had five catches for 98 yards on the day, reeled in a 48-yard Cumbie pass on a fly pattern to highlight the drive.

Just as they did in the first half, the Sooners responded to a Tech field goal with a touchdown. Oklahoma's third six-pointer of the day came on a Jason White pass to fullback J. D. Runnels, who snagged the ball in the flat and waltzed into the end zone from 12 yards out. Trey DiCarlos' extra point made the score 21-6 in favor of the Sooners. Techs next possession began at the Red Raider 20 yard line and fizzled at the Sooner 12. Cumbie's fourth-and-six pass attempt was batted to the ground at the line of scrimmage.

Oklahoma converted the dodged bullet into a kill shot that destroyed any hopes Tech might have had for yet another amazing comeback. Quarterback White, who had 151 yards on 15 of 24 passing, led the Sooners methodically down the field, and capped the excursion with a ten-yard toss to Wilson for the clinching touchdown.

Tech's only touchdown of the afternoon came on an eight-yard Johnnie Mack jaunt up the gut late in the fourth quarter. The Raiders then attempted an on-sides kick, which Oklahoma recovered, snuffing out the Raiders for good.

Texas Tech's next football action will come against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lubbock. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

Raider Power Top Stories