Week 9 - Texas Tech at Oklahoma

Posted Oct 24, 2013

Week 9 Fearless Prediction - Texas Tech at Oklahoma

- Oklahoma State at Iowa State | Texas Tech at Oklahoma
- West Virginia at Kansas State | Baylor at Kansas | Texas at TCU

Texas Tech (7-0) at Oklahoma (6-1) Oct. 26 3:30, FOX

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Baylor, Baylor, Baylor. It's all about Baylor and its high-powered offense and gaudy numbers, but this week it's Texas Tech's time to show it belongs in the discussion for the Fiesta Bowl.

The Red Raiders are unbeaten, too.

The general assumption is that the losses are going to start piling up now that the schedule has turned and all the top teams are coming up, but this has been a strong, resourceful team that hasn't had too many problems, willing every game but one by double digits. The Kliff Kingsbury era couldn't have started any better, but beating Oklahoma on the road would start to generate a buzz that hasn't been there.

Oklahoma didn't exactly bounce back from its clunker against Texas, and now, after a sluggish 34-19 win over Kansas, there might be a harsh truth to face – the team just might not be that good.

The Sooners have been sluggish, for the most part, but they've been winning. Blasting Tulsa and coasting by ULM didn't impress anyone, and while the wins over West Virginia, Notre Dame and TCU weren't pretty, they were wins. However, with Baylor coming up in a few weeks, there's a chance to be the star of the Big 12 again with a few wins before getting the relative layups against Iowa State and Kansas State. Texas needs to lose a few times for OU to possibly get to the Fiesta Bowl, but for now, just getting by the Red Raiders will be enough.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: The defense. Texas Tech has been all about the offense over the years, but it's the defense that's making up for the inconsistencies on the other side. The new coaching staff has helped the O roll – there's no real complaining about an attack that 41 points per game – but the defense has been controlling games with a strong pass rush and a run defense that gives up a few scores – allowing five in the last two games – but is allowing a minute 3.34 yards per try. For the offense, the OU stats against the pass are off after Kansas came up with just 16 yards through the air. Other than Notre Dame, teams with decent passing attacks haven't had too many problems.

Why Oklahoma Might Win: Texas Tech, welcome to a ground game. The Red Raider defensive front has been strong against the run and has made more than its share of plays behind the line, allowing over 200 yards on the ground just once this year. TCU was that one team, and it's not exactly a power, but it generated a push. The Oklahoma offensive line struggled against Texas, but for the most part it's been one of the team's biggest strengths and should power away on the Red Raider defensive front. On the other side, Oklahoma's secondary has been a rock, leading the Big 12 and currently ranking fourth in the nation in pass efficiency defense – it doesn't give up anything deep.

Who To Watch Out For: Line up under center in the Kliff Kingsbury offense and you're going to put up big numbers. Davis Webb stepped in for the injured Baker Mayfield and helped put the TCU game away, and he has been outstanding when called on. Now the job is his, and he's rolling hitting 71-of-106 of his passes – 67% - with 415 yards against Iowa State with three scores and 462 yards against West Virginia with two touchdowns. He has been cool, calm and effective, but now he has the big test. As long as he's not throwing picks, the offense should work.

- 6-4, 253-pound sophomore Charles Tapper is starting to become a major factor for the Oklahoma defensive front. Quick, he came up with two sacks against TCU three weeks ago and two more last week against Kansas. Extremely quick off the ball, he needs to be one of the leaders to get to Webb and past a Texas Tech line that's been air tight, for the most part.

- Oklahoma has been a disaster on punt coverage, allowing 17.5 yards per try, mainly due to the backbreaker against Texas and a 77-yarder against Tulsa. Texas Tech's Sadale Foster is averaging almost eight yards per crack and gets up the field in a hurry.

- This has been a dead even series recently with the two teams splitting the last eight games. A relatively recent matchup, the two programs have only played 20 times with the first matchup in 1992 and Oklahoma holding a 14-6 lead. The road team has won the last two games.

What Will Happen: Can the Oklahoma defense rise up? Yes, but it won't be enough. Davis Webb will look like a freshman at times with some key mistakes, but the Red Raiders will be plucky, OU QB Blake Bell will be okay, not great, and Tech will pull off the eye-opening win it's been shooting for.

Prediction: Texas Tech 30 … Oklahoma 27
Line: Oklahoma -6.5 o/u: 59
Must See Rating: (5 The Counselor – 1 Last Vegas) … 4
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