Football

Seven Points: Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma

Our weekly seven point preview of Texas Tech and Oklahoma as the Red Raiders travel to Norman to face Baker Mayfield and the Sooners.

Point 1: Key Player

Player Vital Information
Name: Patrick Mahomes
Position: Quarterback
Height/Weight: 6-3/219
Classification: Sophomore
Key Stats: 374 Pass Yards/Gm; 20 TD’s; 6 INT; 64% Comp; 234 Rush Yds/Gm; 6 TD

I could pick Mahomes each and every game because he is the pivotal guy week-in-and-week-out, but maybe this is the one game where Mahomes is literally going to have to carry the team on his shoulders and Mahomes is going to have to not just be good, but I think he will have to be great for Texas Tech to pull the upset. Despite what happened in 2011 and despite me eating peanut butter and jelly for two straight days, the odds are not in Texas Tech’s favor. Granted, Oklahoma is not as invincible as they have been at home, but don’t let those few blips skew how good Oklahoma is at home. The one thing that maybe plays into Mahomes favor is that he did play in a very hostile environment at Fayetteville and didn’t shrink a bit and Norman is just as hostile.

Point 2: Uniform Tracker

Uniform Tracker
Opponent Helmet Jersey Pants Result
Sam Houston State W, 59-45
UTEP W, 69-20
ArOklahoma W, 35-24
TCU L, 55-52
Baylor L, 63-35
Iowa State W, 66-31
Kansas W, 30-20

Point 3: Keys to the Game

Thanks to Football Study Hall (where there are more stats than just these, so make sure and check them out): Texas Tech’s profile and Oklahoma’s profile.

As noted below, the Oklahoma defense isn’t elite, but they have been very good. They are darned near top 25 on most categories and top 30 on all but one, field position. They’re doing a fantastic job of stopping opponents. As for Texas Tech, the Red Raiders were top 10 on all items except for field position, and then were unable to finish drives against Kansas and the rankings show that.

TTU O Rank OU D Rank
S&P+ 2 28
Points/Gm 3 24
Explosiveness 6 33
Efficiency 6 23
Field Position 85 34
Finishing Drives 13 28

The odds are not stacked in Texas Tech’s favor on this one. This is darn near as daunting as TCU.

TTU D Rank OU O Rank
S&P+ 119 32
Points/Gm 114 13
Explosiveness 73 26
Efficiency 125 31
Field Position 27 65
Finishing Drives 114 19

Point 4: Texas Tech Offense vs. Oklahoma Defense

This is going to be a battle of wills here. Although the Oklahoma defense isn’t elite, it is very good. The Texas Tech offense is elite (presuming the pass protection holds up). Also something to consider is if the field is wet, wonder how much Texas Tech’s propensity to run the ball all year plays into this game.

Point 5: Texas Tech Defense vs. Oklahoma Offense

The same could be said about the Oklahoma offense, which is that it is very good, but not top 5. It’s still good enough to statistically be all over the Texas Tech defense here.

Point 6: A Look at the Oklahoma Offense

You can expect to see a ton of this, from Texas Tech’s end of things and Oklahoma’s. I don’t have a read as to how often they run 10 personnel, but this is standard.

One thing that Mayfield always did well was that he got the ball out quickly and he’s about to squeeze the ball to that receiver that’s on his back. Which brings me to my next point, which is that Mayfield never takes his eye off of his first read. You can see #1 at the bottom of the screen with no one around him within 5 yards and he’s at the same down and distance as the receiver with the defensive back on his back.

Rather than trips left, OU goes with two receivers on each side. Notice that they are not spread out like Baylor does. I think this slightly helps Texas Tech because there’s not as much field to cover.

This ends up being a play-action with Mayfield throwing to the receiver open in the flat. It’s a good play because pretty much everyone bites, although if the linebackers were rushing a bit more, they’d have a decent shot at Mayfield. Again, Mayfield gets the ball out quick.

In 20 personnel (that’s 2 running backs and 0 tight ends) Mayfield has a ton of options because of how the cornerbacks and safeties are playing the Sooners.

This ends up being a zone read and with the defensive end there, Mayfield makes the right call (he is a sharp kid) and hands the ball off to Perine who goes for a decent game. Whoever is playing defensive line is going to have to stay at home.

Point 7: A Look at the Oklahoma Defense

Pretty standard alignment here and notice that the cornerbacks aren’t afraid at all of the Kansas receivers. Notice the time on the clock too. I’ll bet you $20 that Oklahoma tests the Texas Tech receivers right out of the gate on Saturday. Prove that they can beat the OU defensive backs.

This ends up being a poorly executed screen play where the receiver doesn’t maintain his block and actually ends up making the play on the receiver for a loss of 1 yard.

I pulled this because of how quick Striker is up the field. It’s why having Le’Raven Clark fully mobilized is important. Oklahoma is still playing the defensive backs close.

This is a terrible pass and the K-State quarterback ends up just heaving the ball into the flat. The QB doesn’t lead the K-State receiver in any fashion and it’s an easy pick for OU.

Another pretty standard play for OU, rushing 4.

I tried to get a better screen cap and I believe the OU defensive back made yet another interception. The point of this was that OU was dropping 7 defenders into coverage and the QB really has no where to go. The deep safety is there just in case, but the K-State receivers aren’t running down the field, so he could care less. Texas Tech has to stretch that field.

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