This weekly feature considers five reasons why Texas Tech will win and five reasons Texas Tech will lose to each opponent. Related: Five Reasons Texas Tech Will Lose ::Oklahoma Sooners Edition.
Reason #1 :: Desperation: I try hard not to claim that a particular team is any more desperate than the other, but I do believe, or perhaps I hope to believe that the Red Raiders realize the road in front of them. Win on Saturday and your team has quieted quite a few critics, your team becomes bowl eligible and you go into the last game of the season not playing desperate football. I would guess that the Sooners are playing desperate football too, but there's this hopeful thought that the fact that it's the seniors last game, that this team will make it happen.
Reason #2 :: Stopping the Run: I pointed out the other day that the Sooners are highly successful when they run the ball, but when they cannot get the ground game going, the Sooners tend to lose. I'm sure that Jones has the potential to be Texas Tech, but if it were me, I'd make him win the game. If the Red Raiders can stack to stop the run, limiting DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown to the type of yardage that they get in losses, which is about 100 yards a game, then consider that a success. In fact, the stats tell the same story for the Red Raiders. In wins, the defense only gives up 84 yards a game, but in losses, it's 210 yards on the ground. If there was ever a clear statistic to a Texas Tech victory, this might be it.
Reason #3 :: Despite the Offense: Despite all of the issues with the offense, whether it be inconsistent quarterback play, receivers dropping passes, the offensive line ushering defenders to the quarterback or running backs that may not run as hard as we'd like, but you're still talking about the #2 passing offense in the country and the #6 offense overall. I'll certainly grant you that the offense would be significantly better if the quarterbacks cut down all of the turnovers, but that's the key here. Despite certain parts of the offense, it's still getting done. The lowest point total for the year was last week against Oklahoma St. with 17 points. I'd be willing to be quit a bit of money that there's no way that the Sooners could or would really want to pull off the same type of gut-punching drives that the Cowboys did last week. Leach hardly cares about time of possession, but when your down close to 15 minutes to the opponent, you tend to think that if the Red Raiders had the ball more, Texas Tech would have scored.
Reason #4 :: Pressuring Jones: Sometimes when the Red Raiders do well in a certain category, I tend to discount that success and consider it an anomaly. I somewhat feel that way about the fact that the Red Raiders are 2nd in the nation in sacks. Perhaps I discounted the importance of having Brandon Sharpe, who if you recall wasn't available for the Texas game and was a shadow of himself during the Texas A&M game. That's 2 losses that you would think would have been closer had the Red Raiders had Sharpe's contributions. That's not to say that the workman-like effort produced by Daniel Howard isn't wholly appreciated and the pressure by Rajon Henley (1 sack last week) should create some true match-up problems for the Oklahoma offensive line. It's one thing to plan for just one defensive play-maker, but there should be plenty of contributions for Howard, Henley, Colby Whitlock, Richard Jones and possibly Bront Bird on Saturday.
Reason #5 :: Thank You: Edward Britton :: Austin Burns :: Shawn Byrnes :: Brandon Carter :: Ryan Hale :: Rajon Henley :: Daniel Howard :: Victor Hunter :: Richard Jones :: Jake Myatt :: Brent Nickerson :: Sandy Riley :: De'Shon Sanders :: Brandon Sharpe :: Jamar Wall :: Chris Wallace :: Marlon Williams :: Marlon Winn.