Saturday, October 26, 2013
Five things: Texas Tech at Oklahoma
By Brandon Chatmon
Here’s what we’ll be watching when Texas Tech visits Oklahoma on Saturday.
Oklahoma’s running game. The Sooners have had a strong running game this season, averaging 227.86 rushing yards per game and 5.16 yards per carry. OU is averaging 3.6 yards before contact on designed runs, according to ESPN Stats and Information, a clear sign the Sooners offensive line is playing well and re-establishing the line of scrimmage down the field. If OU has similar success on Saturday, it will keep Tech’s offense off the field.
Texas Tech’s confidence. It will be important for true freshman quarterback Davis Webb to handle the road atmosphere well. Webb has been solid in road wins over Kansas and West Virginia, going 39 of 56 for 498 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. OU will try to rattle Webb so it’s important for him to remain calm and confident.
OU’s pass rush. If OU can get pressure on the quarterback with three or four man rushes it will help the Sooners’ cause immensely. If not, they could be forced to blitz five or six defenders and leave their secondary in one-on-one situations against a deep group of Tech receivers.
Texas Tech’s multiple targets. Speaking of Tech receivers, OU will have its hands full with an offense that features four different receivers with 30 receptions or more. Jace Amaro (56), Eric Ward (37), Bradley Marquez (33) and Jakeem Grant (30) give Kliff Kingsbury plenty of options as he’ll try to attack an OU pass defense that ranks No. 1 in the nation in yards allowed (149.71).
Best quarterback on the field. There’s a pretty good chance that whichever quarterback, Webb or Blake Bell, plays the best will decide the game. The Red Raiders lean on their passing game to win games and their defense will probably stack the box to force Bell to beat them. If Bell can make TTU pay with a big play or two in the passing game, the Sooners will feel good about their chances. If Webb plays the way he’s played the past few games, the Red Raiders will feel good about their chances.