Stats That Matter | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Carefully curated statistics to preview the Texas Tech Red Raiders hosting the Oklahoma Sooners.

THE DEFENSES

STATISTIC
Passes Broken Up 10 11
QB Hurries 5 9
Fumbles Forced 1 1
Interceptions 5 1
Sacks 9.0 6.0
Tackles for Loss 22.0 13.0
3rd Down Conversion % 29.63% 28.26%
Rushing Yards Allowed 85.50 (12, 2) 160.33 (66, 7)
Rushing Avg. Yards/Attempt 2.61 4.45
Passing Yards Allowed 82.00 (1, 1) 123.67 (2, 2)
Passing Avg Yards/Attempt 3.9 4.9

Some of these stats for Oklahoma are really misleading because Oklahoma has only played three games compared to Texas Tech playing four, including all of their non-conference. Of course OU finishes their non-conference by playing Notre Dame, not New Mexico.

Still, it's really encouraging to see some of these numbers, the big plays that I think are important, see an up-tick, especially in conference play. I really didn't thinkt that Texas Tech would have four turnovers in one game, but I'll take it as that was most likely one of the biggest differences in beating Iowa St.

I still don't know whether or not to believe if Texas Tech's averages are a mirage or if they are for real. I am sure it is somewhere in between, I just don't know if that's a top 20 defense at the end of the year or a top 70 defense. I still really don't have a handle or maybe I just don't want to believe. The things that do translate, which is the third down conversions, is still incredibly consistent and if you had to credit one statistic for Texas Tech making considerable improvement, it is forcing third downs.

OU's numbers are really pretty good, although I do question the rushing defense. OU gave up 207 yards to UTEP and 213 to Kansas St., while UTEP averaged 5.75 yards a carry, K-State was 4.84. Those are still really good numbers to key on for the Texas Tech defense. I hope to do a Q&A with Crimson and Cream Machine to confirm this, but it seems like I recall that OU lost quite a bit along the defensive line and maybe things are catching up with them.

Conversely, Oklahoma's pass defense has been fantastic. Against UTEP, the Miners were 7 of 26 for the game for 48 yards and have not allowed 200 yards passing in a game. Again, it's one of those situations where the competition hasn't necessarily been a passing team. Kansas St. only attempt 21 passes and threw for 149 yards for a 7.1 yards per attempt average for that game. I'm thinking that the OU pass defense is maybe more susceptible, but it might also have something to do with putting 7 or 8 in the box to respect K-State's rushing attack.

THE OFFENSES

STATISTIC
Red Zone TD % 70.83% (17/24) 80.00% (12/15)
3rd Down Conversion % 57.14% 44.44%
Passing Yards 358.75 (7, 4) 278.00 (35, 5)
Yards/Passing Attempt 7.8 7.4
Rushing Yards 188.25 (41, 5) 213.67 (26, 4)
Rushing Yards Per Attempt 5.23 4.13
Touchdowns | Turnovers 22 | 6 15 | 5
Turnover Margin 0.00 -1.33
Yards/Play 6.69 6.80
Sacks Allowed / Pass Attempt 36.60 14.00

The red zone touchdown percentage is pretty darned impressive, but it's digging into those details that is important. Against UTEP, OU had 1 opportunity and converted, but against Florida A&M, OU had 9 opportunities and converted on all 9. Against K-State, OU had 5 opportunities and only converted touchdowns on 2 of them. OU has been just fine against the easier part of their schedule, but been just okay against K-state and would even guess that the problem in a couple of those opportunities against K-State were the turnovers in the red zone. I don't know that we'll see those same opportunities against Texas Tech and the likely scenario is that OU would have converted on some of those opportunities.

I am also admittedly surprised by the releatively low third down conversion rate. That just seems really low and would guess that this is a big part of Oklahoma's offensive struggles. They have to do a better job of converting on those third downs to be successful. Also, in case you were curious about Texas Tech's numbers, the Red Raiders were in the 60% rate or so for the first three games and then dipped 20 percentage points against Iowa St. and only converted 7 of 16 third downs (43.75%). That's problematic.

One other note is that I changed the sacks allowed or average per game to sacks allowed per pass attempt. I normally get these things reversed, but with so many pass attempts by various teams, I thought a better idea was the sacks per game, but the fact that Texas Tech is yielding 1 sack for every 36 pass attempts while Oklahoma is yielding 1 sack for every 14 pass attempts. I hope this is clear as mud. The big idea is that OU is struggling in this department and for all of the criticism that Landry Jones has had, he's not getting a lot of help from his offensive line either.

The average rushing yards per game is higher than what I thought, but they are having to work pretty hard to get to those 213 total rushing yards. Those numbers are also a bit skewed in that OU rushed for 349 yards against Florida A&M, 205 against UTEP and only 88 against K-State. I'd also add that statistically, OU is pretty much a 50/50 run to pass team, but those numbers were a bit different against better competition as OU attempted 43 passes against K-State, but only ran 27 times. So OU then turned back and ran only 38% of the time against K-State.

All helmet images via The Helmet Project and thanks to College Football Statistics for these stats.

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