NORMAN, Okla. – Piling up prodigious offensive numbers against Texas Tech has been a way of life for the better part of the decade for Oklahoma, which has averaged 50 points and 599.1 total yards during their seven-game winning streak in the series. Even though the Red Raiders appear to be dramatically improved on defense in 2019, the fourth-ranked Sooners will attempt to continue their offensive onslaught Saturday when they host Texas Tech in the Big 12 opener for both programs.
TV: Noon ET, FOX. LINE: Oklahoma -27.
With likely Heisman Trophy candidate Jalen Hurts leading the way, Oklahoma leads the nation in total yards (676.7 yards) and ranks second in scoring (55.7 points), amassing at least 48 points and 611 yards in each of its first three victories. The Sooners compiled those season-low totals Sept. 14 in a 48-14 rout at UCLA, taking their foot off the gas after racing to a 34-7 halftime lead in which Hurts became the first Oklahoma quarterback ever to pass for 200 yards and rush for 100 before intermission. The Red Raiders, who are also coming off a bye week, rank 16th in the country in scoring defense under first-year coach Matt Wells after finishing no better than 85th in six seasons under Kliff Kingsbury. The defense wore down at the end of Texas Tech's 28-14 loss to Arizona on Sept. 14, however, as the Wildcats relied heavily on the running game and marched 75 and 99 yards on its final two touchdown drives - chewing up nearly 13 1/2 minutes - to put the game away.
ABOUT TEXAS TECH (2-1)
Starting quarterback Alan Bowman - the Big 12's leading passer with 340 yards per game - sustained a left shoulder injury against Arizona that will sideline him several weeks. Wells stated at his weekly press conference that both junior Jeff Duffey and Rice graduate transfer Jackson Tyner would see action in place of Bowman; Duffey came on in relief of an injured Bowman last season at halftime against Oklahoma, accounting for 186 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-46 loss. Junior receiver T.J. Vasher (18 catches, 246 yards and two touchdowns) has registered at least six catches in seven straight contests and is one of four Red Raiders with at least 137 yards receiving.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (3-0)
Hurts is the only player in the country averaging more than 85 rushing yards (124.3) and at least 225 passing yards (293.3) per contest; he also owns the nation's sixth-, seventh- and ninth-best passing efficiency ratings this year (253.6, South Dakota; 251.0, Houston; 245.9, UCLA). CeeDee Lamb, who ranks fourth nationally in yards per catch (25.4), became the first Sooner since Brandon Daniels (1996-99) to have a receiving, rushing and passing TD in his career after scoring on a 1-yard run against UCLA. Trey Sermon (27 carries, 198 yards and one touchdown) set career highs with 26 carries, 206 yards rushing and three TDs last year versus the Red Raiders - nearly topping his marks in all three categories through three games in 2019.
1. Hurts is the only FBS player since at least 1996 to register a passing efficiency rating of at least 245.0 (min. 18 attempts) three times in a season.
2. Texas Tech's last victory over a top-10 opponent on the road came against the Sooners in 2011.
3. Oklahoma has run one fewer play than its opponents this season (195-194) but outgained its foes by 972 yards (2,030-1,058).
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 52, Texas Tech 24