#4 Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech | Here’s What You Need To Know About The Red Raiders

2021 Texas Tech Stats

Conference Record2-3
Points Scored Per Game34.3
Points Allowed Per Game30.6

Texas Tech dropped a bit of a bombshell on Monday afternoon when it parted ways with head coach Matt Wells. Despite the fact that the season is just past the midway point and despite the fact that the Red Raiders currently have a winning record, the athletic department thought it best to send Wells packing and accept whatever consequences that come from the fall out.

There’s potential that those consequences could be favorable to the program. In the event that Wells had lost the locker room the team could rally behind interim head coach Sonny Cumbie. The Sooners always get everyone’s best shot and should this scenario play out then Tech could be a bit extra spicy on Saturday. Then there’s the other side of the argument that says if the team held Matt Wells in high regard and the change was made then they could come out on Saturday afternoon and fall flat as the season begins to nosedive. Regardless, I’m glad that this game is in Norman and not Lubbock.

2021 Texas Tech Football Results
@ TexasL70-35
@ West VirginiaW23-20
@ KansasW41-14
Kansas StateL25-24

The Red Raider offense comes to Norman averaging nearly five touchdowns per game. With an average of 438 total yards, Texas Tech is posting 34.3 points on average each weekend. The passing attack accounts for 269.5 yards per game with quarterback Henri Colombi completing 64.7% of his passes. Colombi stepped into the starting role after Tyler Shough broke his collarbone against Texas. Colombi, a senior, has thrown for 1,206 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions this season. A quarterback with proven accuracy when given time, he’s also known to force throws under pressure. That’s certainly something that can play into Oklahoma’s hand on Saturday afternoon should the defense be able to provide some heat in the backfield.

Protecting Colombi is an offensive line that has given up 12 quarterback sacks in eight games. That said, they are also paving the way for an average of five yards per carry for a rushing attack that has crossed the goal line 23 times this season.

Junior running back SaRodorick Thompson has eight rushing touchdowns on the year and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He didn’t play his first game until September 18th, and didn’t log double digit carries until September 25th, due to his recovery from an offseason injury but the 6-0/215 back has carried the ball at least 11 time a game since then. Thompson’s best game this season came against TCU when he ran for 118 yards and three touchdowns, on a season-high 18 carries, in a 52-31 loss. You could make a strong argument that Thompson has been grossly under used this season.

Erik Ezukanma is an All-Conference caliber receiver. The 6-3/220 junior leads the Red Raiders with 32 receptions for 508 yards. Just behind him is senior Kaylon Geiger who has logged 30 receptions for 433 yards. Both have a receiving touchdown on the year. Tight end Travis Koontz is the red zone, and short yardage, threat that the Red Raiders like to look for. He has a team high three receiving touchdowns this season but has only caught three passes in the last four games.

Even going back to the Mike Leach era defense has been a struggle for Texas Tech. This year isn’t really an exception as the Red Raiders come into Norman allowing an average of 30.6 points per game to opponents. The fewest points Tech has given up in a single game this season was 14 to Kansas but on the other side of that they gave up 70 to Texas. Allowing opponents an average of 151.8 rushing yards per game, it seems like the first place you’d want to look at attacking this defense is on the ground.

Senior linebacker Colin Schooler is pacing the Tech defense with 62 total tackles this season. As if leading in tackles weren’t enough, Schooler has also forced three fumbles on the season. Linebacker Riko Jeffers is second on the squad with 46 tackles and has also recorded an interception.

The Red Raider defense has forced 10 turnovers this season with seven of them coming in the form of an interception. Defensive back Dadrion Taylor-Demerson is the only Tech defender with multiple picks this season. He currently has two with one coming against Kansas and the other against Texas.

When it comes to getting after the quarterback, defensive lineman Tyree Wilson is the guy the Sooners will want to keep an eye on. With four sacks to his credit, the 6-6/275 junior has accounted for a third of the Red Raider quarterback takedowns this season. Fellow defensive lineman Jaylon Hutchings has three sacks on the year.

Texas Tech Game Notes

  • This will be the 29th all-time meeting between Texas Tech and Oklahoma as the Red Raiders will be looking to snap a nine-game losing streak against the Sooners.
  • Texas Tech will be facing a ranked Oklahoma team for the 11th-consecutive year.
  • Receiver Erik Ezukanma came close to a 100-yard performance against the Sooners a year ago as he caught seven passes for 88 yards. He has eight catches for 107 yards over his two career games versus Oklahoma.
  • DaMarcus Fields has recorded 15 tackles and three pass breakups over his career against the Sooners. Fields, whose 44 career passes defended are the most for a Red Raider dating back to 2000, is one of two players on the Texas Tech roster to face Oklahoma each of the past four seasons, joining fellow super senior Riko Jeffers.
  • The longest touchdown in Travis Koontz’s career came against Oklahoma last season when he and Henry Colombi connected for a 75-yard score.
  • The Red Raiders will be looking to knock off a top-25 opponent for the first time since the 2019 season.Texas Tech’s last win over a top-25 team came in a 45-35 victory over No. 21 Oklahoma State early in the 2019 campaign.

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