Not that long ago, there was a time when a meeting between Oklahoma and Texas Tech meant plenty of offensive firepower.
The 2016 meeting featuring Baker Mayfield, at quarterback for the Sooners, against the Red Raiders’ Patrick Mahomes, set a handful of NCAA records.
But entering Saturday’s regular-season finale between the teams at Lubbock, Texas, offensive consistency is a problem area.
Proven capable of explosive plays, each team also has encountered flattening lulls.
While the two rank second and third in the Big 12 in total offense, they’re seventh and eighth in the league in scoring offense.
“We’ve been due,” Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel said. “It’s not always perfect. There are a bunch of things to clean up.”
The Sooners (6-5, 3-5 Big 12) showed their explosiveness early last week, turning in one of the most productive quarters in program history in building a 28-0 lead over Oklahoma State.
Then the offense went dormant, with only two first downs in the second half.
Oklahoma was able to win that game thanks to its defense, which Texas Tech offensive coordinator Zach Kittley said is starting to look much more like the defenses Sooners coach Brent Venables had at Clemson.
“These last two to three weeks, they started to play a lot better defense, going kind of back to this basic stuff they were doing there at Clemson, but they’re very multiple, they’re a high-pressure team. They’re going to blitz you.”
Texas Tech (6-4, 4-4) has won back-to-back games for the first time since the first two games of the season.
In the first four games of conference play, the Red Raiders averaged nearly 520 yards per game. Since, they’ve averaged just more than 350 yards.
They were held to just 246 total yards in last week’s 14-10 win over Iowa State.
Tyler Shough is expected to make his third consecutive start at quarterback for Texas Tech.
“Tyler’s done a good job of coming in and doing what we thought,” Red Raiders coach Joey McGuire said. “He’s getting closer and closer to where we really know who he is and what he can be. But Behren (Morton) will be ready to go.”
Morton hasn’t played since Nov. 5.
The Sooners have won the last 10 meetings between the programs. Texas Tech has not beaten Oklahoma in Lubbock since 2009.
–Field Level Media