The Sooners will be looking to become just the sixth FBS program to register 900 all-time wins (as recognized by the NCAA) when Texas Tech comes calling on Saturday morning. Here are ten things you may not have known about Oklahoma’s Big 12 opener.
10. A History Of Success
The Sooners have won six straight Big 12 openers and 10 of its last 11 (lost 24-19 to No. 15 Kansas State in Norman in 2012).
9. There’s A First Time For Everything
Saturday will be the first time the Sooners and Red Raiders have opened conference play against each other.
8. A History Of Success Part II
Oklahoma owns a 20-6 record against Texas Tech (11-2 in Norman) and has won each of the last seven games in the series. OU is averaging 50.0 points, 599.1 yards and 307.7 rushing yards per contest during the streak.
7. It’s Been A While
Texas Tech will be looking for its first victory over a top-10 team since 2012.
6. Lighting Up The Scoreboard
The Sooners have scored at least 38 points in each of their last nine games against the Red Raiders. It is the second-longest streak against an opponent in school history (OU scored at least 38 points in 11 straight games against Kingfisher College from 1908 through 1919).
5. Overhauling The Way They Play Defense In West Texas
Under the direction of both Matt Wells and Keith Patterson, the Red Raiders have boasted one of the most-improved defenses in the country as Texas Tech is only allowing 13.7 points per game 306.3 yards of total offense through three contests. Tech currently ranks 16th nationally and second in the Big 12 for scoring defense entering this weekend.
4. Strength On Strength
Oklahoma ranks seventh nationally in passing offense (352.3 yards per game) and a Texas Tech ranks third nationally in passing defense (133.7 yards per game). OU leads the nation in passing efficiency rating (244.7; next highest is 213.6) while the Red Raiders rank 14th by allowing a 105.0 rating. Similarly, the Sooners have thrown 12 TD passes without an interception and are tied for the national lead with their 77.9 completion percentage, while Tech has surrendered two passing TDs (two interceptions) and has allowed just a 50.0-percent completion rate.
3. That’s Not The Normal Guy
Texas Tech will be without its regular starting quarterback in Alan Bowman this weekend after the sophomore suffered a shoulder injury against Arizona that will keep him off the field for several weeks. In his place will be either senior graduate transfer Jackson Tyner or junior Jett Duffey.
The Red Raiders have averaged 341.3 yards per game through the air so far this season as Bowman threw for at least 300 yards against both Montana State and Arizona. T.J. Vasher, who leads the Red Raiders with 18 receptions for 246 yards and a pair of touchdowns, will look to pace the Red Raider passing attack against a Sooners defense that is only allowing 212.3 passing yards and 19.7 points per game this year.
2. Standing Alone
Jalen Hurts is the only FBS player since at least 1996 to record three or more passing efficiency ratings of at least 245.0 (min. 18 attempts per game) in a season. He leads the nation with his 250.2 season rating (next highest is 225.6 by LSU’s Joe Burrow) and owns the nation’s sixth-, seventh- and ninth-best passing efficiency ratings this year (253.6 vs. South Dakota, 251.3 vs. Houston and 245.9 at UCLA). Hurts is also the only player in the country averaging more than 85 rushing yards (124.3) and at least 225 passing yards (293.3) per contest this season. He leads all quarterbacks in rushing yards per contest (next most among those who have played at least three games is 82.2 by Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders).
1. The Home Field Advantage
Oklahoma has won two more Big 12 championships over the last 20 years (12) than it has lost home games. OU is 115-10 (.920) at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium since the start of the 1999 season, with all 125 of those games sellouts. It is the best home winning percentage among Power Five schools over the last 20 seasons (Ohio State is next at .889).
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