Oklahoma Sooners: sooners-raiders-100612

LUBBOCK, Texas – Coming off a disappointing loss against Kansas State, Landry Jones and the Sooners bounced back Saturday to destroy Texas Tech 41-20.

It was over when: OU safety Javon Harris intercepted a tipped Seth Doege pass and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown to put the Sooners up 38-13 early in the third quarter. OU led 24-13 at halftime, but dominated the third quarter to put the game away.

Game ball goes to: Jones, who rebounded with his best performance since losing receiver Ryan Broyles to injury last November. Jones completed 25 of 40 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns. Most importantly, he took care of the ball and didn't turn it over once.

Stat of the game: Going into the weekend, OU ranked last in the FBS with just one forced turnover. But in Lubbock, the Sooners forced three turnovers, including Harris’ touchdown return. Aaron Colvin picked off a Doege pass at the line of scrimmage at the end of the first half to set up an OU field goal that gave the Sooners a two-score lead at halftime.

Best call: In its first three games, OU went with a time-share at running back, splitting carries between Damien Williams, Dominique Whaley and Brennan Clay. Against Tech the Sooners rode Williams, who’s been OU’s best running back. Williams finished with 126 yards of total offense on 14 carries and had six receptions.

Turning point: The Red Raiders took the opening drive of the second half to the OU 36 with a chance to cut the Sooners’ lead to a single possession. But on fourth-and-5, middle linebacker Frank Shannon sacked Doege, and Blake Bell punched the ball into the end zone out of the "Belldozer" formation six plays later.

Unsung hero: Shannon, who replaced three-year starter Tom Wort in the first half. Wort struggled again covering the pass, prompting the Sooners to go with Shannon instead. The redshirt freshman finished with a team-high six tackles and had the huge fourth-down sack.

What it means: The Sooners could hop right back in the Big 12 title race with a victory over rival Texas next weekend. And after that, who knows? The schedule is difficult enough to vault the Sooners back into the national championship conversation down the line, should they reel off a few wins in a row. Texas Tech faces a gantlet going forward in Big 12 play with four ranked teams, starting next Saturday against unbeaten West Virginia.
LUBBOCK, Texas – Coming off a lackluster loss against Kansas State, Landry Jones and the Sooners have roared back with an impressive first half at Texas Tech to lead 24-13.

Stat of the half: The Sooners have been tremendous on third down, converting 5 of 7 third-down opportunities into first downs. Both of Jones’ touchdown throws have come on third down.

Player of the half: What a bounce-back game for Jones so far. He’s completed 16 of 25 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He had another long touchdown pass dropped by Justin Brown in the end zone. Most importantly, Jones has taken care of the ball and not turned it over.

What’s working for the Sooners: Jones and the passing game. OU has been able to get multiple skill players involved, including running back Damien Williams, fullback Trey Millard and dazzling true freshman slot receiver Sterling Shepard. So far, eight receivers and running backs have touched the ball.

What’s not working for the Sooners: Even though defensive coordinator Mike Stoops continues to dial up the blitz, the Sooners have not been able to get constant pressure on Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege. OU has yet to sack him and has knocked him down only once. Doege is too good a quarterback to give time to throw.

What OU needs to do: Even though they haven’t gotten pressure, the Sooners have made some huge plays defensively, including Aaron Colvin’s interception at the line of scrimmage that led to a field goal. If the Sooners can force Tech into a couple more mistakes, they should be going home with a victory.


Will Eagles' Gamble On Bradford Pay Off?
ESPN NFL Insider Phil Savage discusses Sam Bradford's chances of bouncing back from multiple ACL surgeries.