Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma 62 – Texas Tech 28; Game Notes | The Defense Finally Setting A Trend!

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

Oklahoma’s offense was spectacular Saturday night in West Texas. The Sooners racked up 559 total yards of offense and lit the scoreboard up for 62 points. I want to talk about the defense though.

Everyone talks about offense when it comes to the Sooners but we’re finally starting to see some positivize trends on the defensive side of the ball that are certainly worth mentioning.

Making his first start of the season, Tre Norwood snagged not one but two interceptions in leading the Oklahoma defense to three turnovers in the game. Prior to Saturday night, Norwood’s only only other interception came against Texas in the 2018 Big 12 championship game. He is also the first Sooner defender to snag multiple interceptions in a game since Jordan Evans did it against Baylor in 2016.

There’s a bigger story here though in that the Oklahoma defense is finally forcing turnovers. Saturday marked the first time since last season’s contest at UCLA (Sept. 14) the Sooners registered multiple interceptions in a game. However, OU also recorded a fumble recovery Saturday night, marking the second time in three games that the Speed D has forced three turnovers (Sooners turned Texas over three times as well).

There’s another trend setting in for the defense as well though. Oklahoma is wreaking havoc behind the line of scrimmage. The Sooners tallied two sacks, and nine tackles for loss, against the Red Raiders in a defensive performance that certainly wasn’t a one-off. Over its last three games, the OU defense has totaled 11 sacks and 28 tackles for loss. That’s got to be a stat that is on the mind of offensive coordinators in the conference. It’s constant disruptions in the backfield that are prone to cause offensive miscues that lead to more turnovers. Now that’s the kind of trend that I’m sure every Oklahoma fan can get on board with.

Game Notes

• Oklahoma earned its 40th win under head coach Lincoln Riley. At 40-8, Riley is one of just seven Sooners head coaches to reach 40 wins. Only Barry Switzer and Bud Wilkinson reached 40 victories at OU in fewer games (Bob Stoops also did it in 48 games).
• Oklahoma has won eight consecutive games played on Halloween. The Sooners are now 12-3-2 in games played on Halloween OU’s last Halloween loss was in 1959 (25-21 at Nebraska).
• OU has now won nine straight games against Texas Tech. The Sooners own a 22-6 record against the Red Raiders, including a 9-4 mark in Lubbock.
• The Sooners have won 12 straight games against opponents from the state of Texas, and 22 of their last 23 such games (lone loss in that span was a 48 45 defeat vs. Texas in 2018).
• Oklahoma’s 62 points Saturday night were the most since scoring 70 against South Dakota last season (Sept. 7). It was OU’s most points against a Big 12 opponent since a 66-33 win over Baylor in 2018, and its most against Texas Tech since 2016.
• Oklahoma gained a season-high 213 rushing yards and averaged a season best 5.5 yards per carry.
• The Sooners scored six rushing touchdowns for the first time since 2015, when they rushed for seven TDs vs. Texas Tech. Four different players scored a rushing TD Saturday night.
• OU registered a time of possession advantage of more than 12 minutes (36:23 to 23:37). It was OU’s second-highest time of possession this season (37:11 vs. Missouri State). The Sooners have held the ball for at least 32 minutes in each game this season. • Oklahoma compiled 559 yards of total offense, snapping a streak of five straight games against Texas Tech in which it had registered over 600 yards of offense.
• OU’s 48 first-half points were its most ever in a half against Texas Tech.
• The last time OU scored at least 48 points in a half was in 2008 vs. Nebraska (49 in first half of a 62-28 victory).
• After punting on its first possession, Oklahoma scored touchdowns on six consecutive possessions. It was OU’s longest streak of touchdowns on consecutive drives since scoring on seven straight possessions against South Dakota last season (Sept. 7).
• OU limited Texas Tech to 4 of 11 on third down conversions (including 0 for 5 in the first half). The Sooners were 8 of 14 on third downs in the game.
• Oklahoma led 21-7 after the first quarter and has outscored opponents 89 10 in the opening period this season. The Sooners have limited the six opponents to 355 total yards on 87 plays (4.1 average) in the opening 15 minutes.
• Sophomore DE Marcus Stripling, redshirt freshman CB Woodi Washington and freshman WR Marvin Mims each made their first career start.

Jeremiah Hall

Scored his fourth receiving touchdown of the season on a 4-yard play in the second quarter. It was the third game this season in which he has scored a TD. He now has seven career receiving touchdowns.

Mikey Henderson

Scored his first career touchdown on a 4-yard rush in the third quarter.

Seth McGowan

Scored his third rushing touchdown of the season on a 14-yard run in the fourth quarter. Finished with 55 yards on eight carries.

TJ Pledger

Scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the season (all in the last three games) on a 2-yard play in the first quarter. It was his fifth career rushing TD. He finished with 16 rushing yards on six carries.

Spencer Rattler

• Was 21 of 30 passing for 288 yards and two touchdowns (two of his incompletions were spiked passes at the end of the first half). He also rushed three times for 24 yards.
• Has passed for at least 200 yards and two touchdowns in every game this season.

Rhamondre Stevenson

• Made his season debut and tallied 87 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. He also caught two passes for 13 yards.
• Scored his first rushing touchdown on his initial carry, a 6-yard run. He also scored on a 1-yard rush in the first quarter and a 1-yard run in the second quarter. This was his first career game with multiple TDs, and he has scored eight career TDs.
• He is the first Sooner running back to score three TDs in a game since Kennedy Brooks vs. Oklahoma State in 2018.

Theo Wease

Caught five passes for a career-high 105 yards. Included was a 48-yarder, which was his longest reception of the season. It was his third straight game setting a career high for receiving yards.

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