This weekly feature considers five reasons why Texas Tech will win and five reasons Texas Tech will lose to each opponent. Check back tomorrow for "Five Reasons Texas Tech Will Win :: Oklahoma Sooners Edition".
Reason #1 :: Sacks = Losses: I wish I could give you some great statistic about how when this team gives up sacks the Red Raiders tend to lose. That's really not the case. In losses, the Red Raiders are giving up 2.25 sacks per game for 123 yards and in wins, it's 3.00 per game for 160 yards. The only thing that I can say with absolute certainty is that the continued inability to protect the quarterback is having a certain negative effect on the rushing game (more on this below). Meanwhile, as discussed yesterday, the Sooners are terrific at rushing the passer and getting behind the line of scrimmage, good for both 2nd in the nation. In fact, DT Gerald McCoy has 13.5 TFL for the year and the below-mentioned Jeremy Beal has 16 TFL.
Reason #2 :: Rushing the Passer with Success: Quick question, how many 100 yard games did Texas Tech have last year? It's 11. This year, it's a grand total of 3 games where the running backs have accounted for more than 100 yards. For the year, the Texas Tech offense has gained 712 yards for the year, and if the Red Raiders were to add yards lost due to sacks, the Red Raiders would be sitting at 995, which is a lot closer to being the Texas Tech of 2008. It's the sacks and the sacks lead to significant negative yards and the significant negative yards lead to long 3rd downs and the long 3rd downs will eventually lead to bad decisions as a quarterback tries to make up that yardage. To reiterate, the Oklahoma defense has been absolutely killer at sacking the quarterback and to dedicate 2 reasons to just one reason proably doesn't indicate the nervousness about this Texas Tech offensive line trying to protect this quarterback.
Reason #3 :: Jones Can Play: It's easy to pick on Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, however, despite his 11 interceptions, he's still thrown 17 touchdowns for the year, the scary part is that he's capable of throwing 5 picks and 5 TD's in any given game. If you take out the horrific game against Nebraska and now Jones is looking like a pretty good option at quarterback, especially considering the very youthful offensive line. Jones is a lot like Potts in that there's certainly talent and ability there, it's more of a question of doing it consistently. If Jones doesn't get pressured, then he should have no issues making all of the right throws.
Reason #4 :: Beal is One of the Best: Despite injuries along the defensive line, DE Jeremy Beal has been out-freaking-standing and now Beal with have the distinct pleasure of lining up against two tackles that have seemingly given up at times during the game. I'm not a draft expert, but my guess is that Beal is an elite prospect for the NFL. Not to mention, Beal helped lead the charge last year with 2 sacks for 19 yards, including a forced fumble. I won't have time to truly detail the type of success the Oklahoma defense is having this year, but the truth is that the defense has been absolutely dominant. The most points the Sooners have given up all year is 30 against Kansas St. and they still won by 12 points. It would be unfair and irresponsible to blame the OU defense for any of the losses, sans the loss to Miami (this is a stretch) where they gave up 21 points.
Reason #5 :: Running for Wins: If I had to guess, I think that the OU offensive coordinator will try to run the ball in the hopes that it takes some pressure off of Jones. In OU's 4 losses, the Sooners rush for only 83.75 yards a game, while in wins it's 194.17 yards a game. OU's maligned offensive line was the concern early in the season, however, this group is no longer inexperienced and the key for the Sooners will be establishing the run early and often against the Red Raiders. I know this is a five reasons why Texas Tech will lose, but another factor is that the Sooners are great running the ball at home, averaging 216.00 yards a game, while on the road, it's only 106.00 yards a game and in neutral sites, its 51.00 yards a game.