Texas Tech came out swinging on Saturday night but it didn’t take long for Oklahoma to put them on the mat. Three forced turnovers by the Speed Defense set up a first half barrage of offense, led by newly reinstated running back Rhamondre Stevenson, and a 48-14 break at the intermission.
Oklahoma’s onslaught brought in reserve players with eight minutes still remaining in the third quarter. Spencer Rattler gave way to Tanner Mordecai in what turned out to be complete shift to the second unit on the second offensive possession of the game.
The bottom line is that this was a completely different team than what we had seen through the first five games of the season. They were more physical and played with more edge on both sides of the ball.
Rhamondre Stevenson changes so much with the offense
Three first half touchdowns are just part of the story! Having Stevenson in the backfield changes the way the defense lines up and the things Lincoln Riley can do with his offense. As good as Seth McGowan and T.J. Pledger have been, particularly over the last two games, Stevenson just runs different.
Stevenson finished the game with 87 rushing yards on 13 carries (6.7 YPC) and the three touchdowns. He had a big impact on the X’s & O’s as well though by forcing the Red Raiders to focus defensively on the inside gaps, which is what will ultimately open up more of the playbook for Riley.
Austin Stogner was much better this week
We said last week that he had to get better at making the contested catches and that’s exactly what he did this week. He scored his second touchdown of the season and averaged 25.7 yards per catch across his three receptions.
Oklahoma didn’t need Stogner as much as I had thought they would in this game but he certainly could have been a bigger factor had he been needed more.
Marvin Mims seemed to feel the pressure
With Charleston Rambo out Mims was going to draw more attention from the Red Raider defense by drawing top-side help. The success in the running game freed him up but there were some key moments where he could have secured another 100-yard game. His second quarter drop of a Spencer Rattler bomb would have absolutely been a score. This was the first game where the Sooners absolutely needed him to emerge as the top guy and that brought some extra pressure for the youngster.
The defense did better this time without Delarrin Turner-Yell
This isn’t an indictment of the overall performance from the defense but Texas Tech found early success on the opening drive by picking on the safeties. Credit Alex Grinch for making the necessary adjustments and the defense for producing three turnovers to put the game out of reach by halftime.
This is where we need to tip out caps to Tre Norwood for his two first half interceptions.
Ronnie Perkins Is Back!
His impact on the defense will only grow with each additional week but a season debut of three total tackles (2 for loss) and a quarterback hurry bodes well for a front seven that was already potentially the best in the Big 12.
Perkins will impact the opoonent’s offensive line much in the same way that Rhamondre Stevenson impacts an opposing defensive front. You have to scheme for him and that adds just another degree of difficulty to the game plan.
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