Oklahoma football: Four intriguing story lines for OU-Texas Tech

LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 22: Baker Mayfield
LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 22: Baker Mayfield /
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NORMAN, OK – NOVEMBER 12: Cornerback Jordan Thomas
NORMAN, OK – NOVEMBER 12: Cornerback Jordan Thomas /

Texas Tech offense vs. the Oklahoma defense

It is hard to imagine this game as anything but a high-powered offensive display and a test of wills to see which team blinks first. There will be plenty of offense, for sure, on both sides, but the game will be won by the team that can stop the run, get the most third-down stops and get off the field so the offense can take over.

Both teams rank in the top 10 in the country in offensive production, averaging greater than 500 yards per game, although Oklahoma is the more balanced of the two offenses in mixing rushing yards with passing yardage.

The Sooner defense has been the subject of much criticism this season. While most of the criticism has been directed at the OU secondary, the Sooner rushing defense was exploited and badly exposed by the Kansas State offense in the first half last weekend. Like the Sooner offense, the OU defense has experienced periodic lapses in performance during the course of games that has allowed opponents to get back into games after OU has built double-digit leads.

With both Oklahoma and Texas Tech possessing plenty of offensive weapons and firepower, the difference maker would appear in the game would appear to rest with defense and special teams.

By comparison, Oklahoma ranks 52nd in total defense, allowing 374 yards per game, while Texas Tech is 98th out of 127 FBS teams, giving up 426 yards per game. The disparity between the two teams is even greater in pass defense: OU is 75th in that category among FBS teams; Texas Tech is 126th out of 127 teams, allowing close to 300 yards per game.

An opportunity for the Sooners? We’ll see.